I have had a bit of an obsession with the Lee Brothers recently. It all started last summer, when I made Cornbread Salad. Then it got a little out of control when I tried their Strawberry Wine Coolers. As of now, I have about 5 of their recipes waiting to be blogged.... so yeah. Just slightly obsessed. But seriously, who wouldn't be? They have pretty much perfected southern cooking without relying on too much butter, lard, fat, etc. They make it what it should be: fresh ingredients, simple preparations, fantastic flavors.
This duck breast isn't necessarily a "southern" recipe, but it is decadent and delicious. When I first bought Simple Fresh Southern, this was the first recipe that jumped out at me, and I'd been waiting for a special occasion to make it. I made this for our anniversary dinner a few weeks back, and Joey said it was the highlight of the meal. I was really nervous to make duck, but I had no reason to be. Just make sure your skillet is nice and hot, and get a good sear on the skin. I overcooked mine a bit, but it was still nice and juicy. That's the good thing about duck - it has enough fat to be able to handle being a little overcooked. I loved the raspberry-rose' sauce too. It gave the duck a nice sweet contrast to the rich meat.
This is most definitely a special occasion meal, and I look forward to celebrating again with it!
Duck Breasts with Raspberries and Rose'
from Simple Fresh Southern by Matt Lee and Ted Lee
- 2 large boneless duck breasts (10-14 ounces each)
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 12 ounces fresh raspberries (about 3 cups)
- 1/3 cup finely diced shallot (about 1 large)
- 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup rose' wine
- 2 teaspoons sugar
In a small bowl, toss 2 1/2 cups of the raspberries with the shallot, thyme, vinegar, oil, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Save the rest of the raspberries for garnish.
Heat the oven to 450.
Heat a large cast-iron skillet or ovenproof pan over medium-high heat. When a drop of water sizzles in the skillet, add the duck breasts, skin-side down. Be careful not to crowd them, and sear until the surface is golden-brown, 4-6 minutes. Turn the duck breasts over, and spoon off all but about 2 Tablespoons of the fat. Scatter the marinated berries among them, and roast 6-8 minutes (6 minutes will be on the rare side, 8 will be closer to medium-rare).
Remove from the oven and transfer the duck to a cutting board and loosely tent with foil.
Add the wine and sugar to the skillet and cook over medium-high heat, scraping the bottom of the skillet with a wooden spoon. Cook until the berries have collapsed and the wine has reduced to a thick syrup, about 2-3 minutes.
Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh strainer. Slice the duck breasts on the bias and serve them bathed in the berry sauce. Serve with reserved raspberries.