Seared Duck Breast

Seared Duck Breast
4.7 from 3 ratings
This recipe is courtesy of David McAninch, from his book Duck Season. The Pekin duck is a domestic American breed and the most popular duck to eat, while the moulard (a cross between a Muscovy duck and a Pekin duck) is the preferred duck for foie gras.“The name has a fancy ring, but this dish — one of dozens that pair magret with a sweet pan reduction — is as straightforward as can be.”— David McAninch
  • 2 skin-on moulard duck breasts (or 4 skin-on pekin duck breasts)
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 cup chicken or duck stock
  • 1 1/2 ounce armagnac
  • 1 1/2 ounce blackberry jelly
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  1. Using a small, sharp knife, score the skin of the duck breasts in a crosshatch pattern, taking care not to cut into the meat.
  2. Season both sides of the breasts with salt and pepper and set aside for 15 minutes.
  3. Pat the meat dry with paper towels and place the breasts, skin side down, in a cold skillet.
  4. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook the breasts until most of the fat has rendered out and the skin is golden and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes.
  5. Flip the breasts and continue cooking for another 6 to 8 minutes until medium-rare.
  6. (Note: If using Pekin duck breasts, cook over medium heat instead of medium-low, and reduce the cooking time by 2 minutes per side. Cook in two batches if necessary to prevent crowding the skillet.)
  7. Transfer the breasts to a cutting board and tent them with aluminum foil.
  8. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the skillet, then add the shallot.
  9. Cook over medium heat until soft, about 1 minute. Add the stock, Armagnac, and blackberry jelly and stir to combine.
  10. Bring the mixture to a boil and continue boiling until it has reduced by a little more than half and has become lustrous and almost syrupy.
  11. Remove the sauce from the heat, swirl in the butter, and season with a little salt and pepper.
  12. Pour the sauce into the bottom of a deep serving platter.
  13. Slice the duck breasts and place the slices on top of the sauce.
  14. From the book: DUCK SEASON: Eating, Drinking and Other Misadventures in Gascony—France's Last Best Place by David McAninch. Copyright © 2017 by David McAninch. Reprinted courtesy of Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.