Cinnamon-Rubbed Muscovy Duck Breast with Vanilla Parsnip Purée and Icewine-Soaked Cherries

Temps des Fêtes 2008
food and drink

Stephen Treadwell serves this excellent dish with fried Brussels sprouts.

Parsnip Purée
2 lb (1 kg) parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) chunks
3 cups (750 mL) milk
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
½ vanilla bean, cut into strips
2 tbsp (25 mL) unsalted butter

¾ cup (175 mL)Vidal icewine
½ cup (125 mL) dried cherries
2 duck breasts, 12 oz (375 g) each
¼ tsp (1 mL) cinnamon
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped shallots
¾ cup (1745 mL) red wine
½ cup (125 mL) chicken stock (low-sodium)
1 tbsp (15 mL) unsalted butter

1. Place parsnips in a pot and cover with milk. Season with salt, add vanilla bean strips and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 15 minutes or until parsnips are very tender. Remove vanilla bean and strain parsnips, reserving vanilla milk separately.

2. Place parsnips in a food processor with about ¾ cup (175 mL) vanilla milk and purée until smooth. Add butter and season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Place icewine in a small pot and bring to boil over high heat. Add cherries, remove from heat and let soak for 30 minutes or until soft and juicy. Drain and return icewine to pot. Bring to boil and reduce, watching carefully, for 2 minutes or until syrupy.

4. Preheat oven to 450ºF (230ºC).

5. Score duck skin in a cross-hatch pattern. Season with salt and pepper and dust with cinnamon. Add duck, skin side down, to a cold ovenproof skillet over medium-low heat. Cook for 5 minutes, draining fat from pan as necessary, or until skin is a medium brown colour. Turn heat to low and cook 10 minutes more or until most of fat is rendered. Turn duck skin-side up and place skillet in oven for 5 minutes or until duck is medium rare. Remove duck from pan and set aside. Slice into thin slices before serving.

6. Brush reduced icewine over skin and sides of duck and reserve. Drain remaining fat from pan. Place over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté for 2 minutes or until softened. Add red wine, turn heat to high and boil for 4 minutes or until reduced down to 2 tbsp (25 mL). Add stock, boil for 2 minutes or until reduced down to about ¼ cup (50 mL). Remove from heat and stir in butter until melted, taste for seasoning. Stir in cherries.

7. Divide parsnip purée between 4 plates. Top with sliced duck breast and spoon sauce on plates.

Serves 4

What to Serve