Duck Breasts with Black Olives
David Leite | Yield: 4-6
Cookbook author and food writer David Leite uses duck breasts in his version of this classic Portuguese dish with black olives and port wine.
- 4 ounces slab bacon, about 3 slices, thick-sliced, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide pieces
- 1 1/8-inch thick slice of presunto, Serrano ham or prosciutto, diced
- 5 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
- 1 tablespoon thyme leaves, plus 1 teaspoon
- 1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium store-bought broth
- 2/3 cup Tawny Port or medium-dry Madeira
- 1 cup oil-cured black olives, to taste, pitted, halved and rinsed
- 4 Moulard Duck Magret, about 3 lbs total
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium‑low heat, stirring often, until the fat begins to render, about 6 minutes. Add the presunto and garlic and sizzle until the garlic is golden brown and the meaty bits start to crisp, about 6 minutes more. Stir in the rosemary and thyme, pour in the stock and port, and bring to a boil. Cook for a minute, then add the olives and remove the pan from the heatWith a razor‑sharp knife, score the skin of the duck breasts in a crosshatch pattern, being mindful not to cut into the flesh. Pat dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat a large dry skillet over medium‑low heat. Add the breasts skin side down and sear until crisp, allowing the fat to render slowly, 10 to 15 minutes. Don’t rush this—the last thing you want is a mouthful of chewy fat. Flip and sear the other side for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring the sauce back to a boil, then reduce the heat to low.
- Nestle in the breasts, skin side up, and cook for 4 to 6 minutes for medium rare, 135°F on an instant‑read thermometer. Transfer the duck to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes.
- Slice the breasts on an angle, arrange on plates, and spoon the sauce and olives on top. Serve immediately.