Could have rested just a tad bit longer to prevent those excess juices from escaping, but still delicious =)

Duck has gotta be on the top of my list when I think of my favorite proteins.  Something about it just makes me salivate every time.  A crisp and tasty skin just really does it for me!


I've been trying to get rid of some items on our bar shelf so that we can make room for newer and tastier things.  There's been a bottle of ginger liqueur sitting there for quite some time.  I just haven't had the opportunity to do anything with it… until now.  A quick and easy gastrique was just the thing to pair with our duck breasts!

Ingredients:

2 large duck breasts
salt and pepper, to taste

Gastrique:

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup ginger liqueur
1/2 cup veal or beef stock
1 whole star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon juniper berries
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter.

Roasted Carrots & Turnips, diced (optional)

In a medium saucepan, heat the sugar on medium low heat.  Cook until sugar caramelizes and turns into a syrupy liquid… like you're going to make caramel.  When the sugar is dissolved and has a nice amber color, deglaze the pan with the vinegar and ginger liqueur.  Whisk constantly to remove any clumps.  Reduce by about 3/4 and then add veal stock, star anise, cinnamon, juniper berries, and salt.  Continue to reduce until mixture is at a syrupy, sauce consistency.  Keep warm until needed.

Heat a large saute pan under medium heat.  Season the duck breasts with salt and pepper on both sides.  Add the duck breasts to the dry pan, skin-side down.  Slowly render the fat from the skin until it is nice and crispy, about 7-9 minutes.  You don't want to rush this if you want to get the perfect duck skin!

Flip breast over and continue to cook for about 3-4 minutes, or until duck is at a nice medium rare-medium.  Let rest for about 4-5 minutes before slicing.

Reheat sauce and mount with 1 tablespoon of butter.  Spread a nice bit of sauce on the plate.  Top with desired vegetable or starch (I had roasted from carrots and turnips for this).  Slice duck breasts into thin strips and arrange over top of the vegetables.  Garnish with parsley, if desired.

Another simple, but elegant meal. Take the time to splurge on some duck breasts once in a while – you won't be sorry!