Truffle Honey Seared Duck Breast with Figs & Raspberries
Truffle Honey Seared Duck Breast with Pomegranate Seeds
A luxurious waterfowl, duck provides a delightful change up to the traditional ham, turkey, or roast beast Christmas dinner. Easy to prepare, rich flavor, and gorgeous presentation should convince any duck loving skeptic that this is a meal that can and should be prepared at home as a romantic dinner for two, or as a show stopping main course of a dinner party. The crispy skin is easy to achieve--simply place a scored and seasoned duck breast in a CAST IRON FRYING PAN and slowly render out the fat, a process that should take about 15 minutes. Nearly all fruit from cherries, to pomegranate, to persimmon, pears, and apples complement tender, succulently sweet duck meat. This recipe incorporates roasted figs, a fruit rich in biblical symbolism and a classic formal French culinary duck pairing. Roasting the figs coaxes out their sweetness and caramelizes the fruit. The raspberries add color, a welcome tartness, and together with the cauliflower puree, balance the duck's natural richness. Not much beyond a roaring fire, a bottle of pinot noir, and good company is needed to enjoy this satisfying plate.
FOR THE DUCK
3 Moulard Magret duck breasts, skin scored in a cross-hatch pattern
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons TRUFFLE HONEY
3 tablespoons black truffle butter
8 fresh figs, each cut into six equal pieces
1 pint fresh raspberries
Maldon Sea Salt Flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
FOR THE CAULIFLOWER PUREE
1 head of cauliflower, hard core & leaves removed
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup whole milk
Truffle salt and freshly ground pepper
FOR THE DUCK
1. Place a dry 12" CAST IRON SKILLET in the oven and set to 400 degrees F. for 30 minutes. Remove the skillet and place on top of the stove over medium low heat. Lower the oven heat to 350 degrees F.
Place the figs in a SMALL GRATIN DISH and drizzle with a small amount of olive oil. Place in the oven for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the figs begin to caramelize. Remove and set aside.
2. Generously salt & pepper the duck breasts.
3. Place the preheated skillet over low heat. Add the duck skin-side down and cook undisturbed until the skin is crisp and a uniform deep golden brown, about 6 to 7 minutes.
4. Flip the duck, and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 125 degrees F. for medium rare. Remove from the pan and place on a cutting board tented with foil (the duck will continue cooking and will reach a perfect medium rare temperature of 135 degrees F. before slicing).
5.Drop one tablespoon of truffle butter on each hot breast. When melted, drizzle each breast with 1 tablespoon of honey.
Slice each breast into 1/2" thick pieces on the diagonal just before plating.
FOR THE CAULIFLOWER PUREE
1. Cut the cauliflower florets from the tough stalk.
2. Combine the florets, water, milk, salt & pepper in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook until the cauliflower is tender, about 10 minutes.
3. Strain the cauliflower & reserve the liquid.
Put the cauliflower and a half a cup of the reserved cooking liquid in a Vitamix or blender and puree until smooth. Add reserved liquid to achieve the desired consistency.
4. Taste for seasoning and reheat just before serving (the puree should be served piping hot).
1. Place 1/2 cup of the cauliflower puree on a serving plate and using the back of a spatula, spread to accommodate about 6 slices of the duck breast.
2. Lay the sliced fowl over the cauliflower puree on each plate.
Arrange the figs and raspberries around the plate.
3. Drizzle each plated of the sliced duck, figs and raspberries with an additional tablespoon of truffle honey.
4. Finish with a pinch of sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately.
This recipe is easily doubled or halved. D'Artagnan sells high quality Magret duck breasts and truffle butter. Strain and save the rendered fat for tossing with potatoes or root vegetables. Brown, black and green figs work equally well. If fresh figs unavailable, simply soak dried figs in boiling water for 10 minutes, drain, slice and drizzle with olive oil.