Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Duck Breast with Balsamic Pears

This was the first time I made duck at home since I usually save such a treat for a nice restaurant. I did enjoy it enough to want to catalog it but with variations for next time. 

1 (15-ounce) fresh or frozen (thawed) boneless duck-breast half with skin
1/2 cup long-grain white rice
1 tblsp chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 tsp snipped fresh chives
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tblsp water
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp freshly grated orange peel
1 Bosc or D'Anjou pear, cored & cut into 8 wedges
1-2 large shallot, finely chopped
1 9oz bag microwave-in-bag baby spinach
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

Pat duck breast dry with paper towels. With knife, cut four 1/4-inch-deep diagonal slashes in skin & fat. On waxed paper, evenly sprinkle duck breast with 1/4 teaspoon salt & 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper to season both sides. In 10-inch nonstick skillet, cook duck, skin side down, on medium 16 to 18 minutes or until skin is browned & crispy. As duck cooks, spoon off excess fat in skillet. Turn duck over; cook 10 minutes for medium-rare or until desired doneness.

While duck cooks, in 2-quart saucepan, prepare rice as label directs; when done, stir in parsley, chives, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. In cup, mix vinegar, water, sugar & peel. Transfer duck to cutting board; cover with foil to keep warm. Discard all but 2 tsp fat from skillet. Stir in pear & cook 5 minutes or until it begins to brown; transfer to plate. Add shallot to skillet & cook 1 minute. Stir in vinegar mixture; cook 2 to 4 minutes, until sauce begins to thicken.

Meanwhile, prepare bagged spinach in microwave as label directs. To serve, divide spinach & rice between 2 dinner plates; sprinkle rice with almonds. Thinly slice duck breast & serve with pears & balsamic sauce.

{My Thoughts}

The duck itself was flavorful & really nice with the rice & pears. I love spinach but didn't feel it lended anything to this dish so next time I will omit it. The sauce was a little too vinegar-y so I would definitely cut back on the balsamic by a tblsp or two next time, or just add a little more sugar. 


Kristina P. said...

I have never had duck before. It looks good, though!

Michelle said...

First pecans and now Duck! Are you looking through the things Michelle won't eat list before you post your recipes? :) Really pretty shot!

Scary Mommy said...

It looks delicious-- I wish you'd loved it. Maybe next time you will-- I'll try it for sure!

Amanda said...

Wow I have never been brave enough to make duck at home. This will make me try. I love all of the ingredients!

Fresh Mommy said...

I don't know that I've had duck, not at least that I can recall. This looks delish though!! The photos are great!!!


Savvy Mode SG said...

i adore duck. will have to try this.

Tiaras and Tantrums said...

I LOVE DUCK!!!!!!!

Rachael said...

i have not had duck in ages! those balsamic pears sound wonderfully tasty, i really like that idea!

Anonymous said...

Wow this looks delicious, we love duck also, so I will have to keep this recipe around. Thanks for sharing.

Debbie said...

Like everything else you make, this looks and sounds great.

Pam said...

I must say I am not a fan of duck but this recipe makes me want to try it again. I'll be passing this on to my Dad who loves cooking duck.

missy said...

wow it looks awesome!!!!!!
you have one lucky family!!!!!

FROGGITY! said...

scrumptious dahling.

will you please come cook for us? :)

Ronda said...

I have never taken the duck challenge at home yet. Maybe someday. I like duck about once a year. I like it crispy, with some kind of glaze. Yours looks really good though. Love pears. Have a great Friday!

Kerstin said...

Looks fantastic - I've never made duck at home before - you make it look so easy!

Life, Love And Lola said...

I've never cooked duck...It kinda intimidates me. But I may give this a shot...Looks Delish!

The Blonde Duck said...

As a duck myself, I simply can't make this dish. I'll have a hamburger instead.

simpledaisy said...

Looks delicious {except for the duck}~ Not sure I could give that one a try?!?!

The Pink Potpourri said...

although i've never had duck before, that does look delicious!

Mary Beth said...

Wow-I'm drooling (not a pretty picture-think of bunnies or something to get your mind off the drool). Delicious!

Alyce said...

I have got to try this.. We've had duck in our freezer from hunting season and it needs to be used!

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