Currant-Glazed Duck Breast with Raspberry-Chipotle Sauce

Winter 2012
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food and drink

BY: Julia Aitken

The glossy sauce that accompanies this easy way with duck has wonderful sweet-savoury notes from the combo of berries and chili. You’ll lap up every drop. Serve the duck with egg noodles tossed with butter, parsley and black pepper. Reserve any leftover duck fat; it will keep for days in the fridge and makes for the best sautéed potatoes ever.

2½ cups (625 mL) frozen unsweetened raspberries
1 large duck breast, about 13 oz (400 g)
¼ tsp (1 mL) kosher salt
¼ tsp (1 mL) freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp (5 mL) finely chopped thyme leaves
2 tbsp (30 mL) redcurrant jelly
2 tbsp (30 mL) finely chopped shallot
¼ cup (60 mL) port
1 tsp (5 mL) finely minced drained canned chipotle chili in adobo sauce
Fresh thyme sprigs for garnish

1 Thaw 2 cups (500 mL) raspberries, leaving remainder in freezer. Rub thawed raspberries through a fine sieve, discarding seeds. You should have about ¾ cup (175 mL) purée. Set aside while you cook the duck.

2 Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

3 With a sharp knife, cut a crosshatch pattern in skin and fat of duck breast. Sprinkle duck breast on both sides with salt and pepper.

4 Heat a heavy medium ovenproof skillet over high heat. Place duck breast in skillet, skin-side down and reduce temperature to medium-high. Cook duck breast for about 3 minutes or until skin is golden. Turn duck breast over.

5 Sprinkle skin with half of thyme. Cook for a further 2 minutes. Drain off all fat from skillet and reserve. Transfer skillet to the oven and roast duck breast, skin-side up, for 6 to 8 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of breast registers 155°F (68°C).

6 Meanwhile, microwave half of redcurrant jelly in a microwave-safe bowl on medium(50%) power for about 15 seconds or until melted. Remove duck breast to a cutting board, brush skin with melted jelly. Cover duck breast loosely with foil and let rest while you make the sauce.

7 Pour off all but 1 tbsp (15 mL) fat from skillet or, if there’s less than 1 tbsp (15 mL) fat in skillet, add a little of the reserved fat. Add shallot to skillet and cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes or until softened. Add port and chipotle chili to skillet and bring to a boil, stirring to scrape up any browned bits on bottom of skillet. Boil for about 2 minutes or until port has reduced by about half.

8 Add raspberry purée and remaining redcurrant jelly and thyme to skillet and bring to a simmer. Stir in remaining frozen raspberries and heat through for 1 to 2 minutes just until raspberries have thawed. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary.

9 Thinly slice duck breast and fan out on 2 warm plates. Spoon sauce over and around duck breasts. Garnish with thyme sprigs.


Serves 2