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Duck Breast with Mushroom Risotto

Duck Breast with Mushroom Risotto

This is a relatively simple but seductively elegant dinner for two, with great flavor and plate appeal. It's one of my favorites, and Elise's too!

Duck breast, cooked rare but with a crispy edge of skin, with a sweet-sour balsamic vinegar reduction sauce, truffle-charged mushroom risotto and wild mushroom ragout -- with a simple green salad, a bottle of wine and a crusty baguette, there's nothing missing from this table for two.

Duck Breast with Mushroom Risotto and Sweet-Sour Balsamic Reduction Sauce

Duck breasts:

2 Long Island duck breasts, about 7 - 8 oz each
fresh ground pepper to taste
1-1/2 C boiling water

Dry the breasts well. Deeply score the skin at 1" intervals and season all over. Preheat broiler to 500º. Pour 1-1/2 cups boiling water in the broiler pan, spray the rack with vegetable spray and broil the breasts about 5 - 6" from the heating element, skin side down and oven door closed, for 4 minutes. Turn the breasts and continue to broil 8 - 10 more minutes with the door ajar, until the breasts reach internal temperature of 130º. Place the breasts on a warmed platter, cover tightly with foil, and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes. I like to serve them sliced but they can be served whole for the diner to carve.

Sweet and sour balsamic reduction sauce:

1-1/4 C top quality balsamic vinegar
3 T butter
1 T grape preserves

Reduce the balsamic vinegar by 2/3. Add the butter, cut in small chunks, stirring in each chunk until it has melted completely before adding the next chunk. Stir in the grape preserves, heat for another minute, strain and serve immediately


1 recipe Risotto
1 recipe Mushroom Ragout

Stock for the risotto recipe:
5 C low-sodium chicken broth
1 T soy sauce
reserved mushroom-soaking broth from ragout recipe

Reserve half the mushroom-soaking water from the ragout recipe and add it to the 5 cups of low-sodium chicken broth along with the soy sauce. Follow the basic recipe for risotto, stirring in a cup of the mushroom ragout when the cooking is about 10 or 12 minutes along. If possible, include the optional truffle oil mentioned in the risotto recipe. Serve with additional mushroom ragout on the side.


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Looks fantastic as always, Stephen. I'm a bit confused by where you say to put boiling water in the broiling pan though, as I've never done that. That water doesn't touch the duck, right? Is that for steaming?

Hi again Max...thanks for stopping by...the water is to add a little moisture via steam, so you're right, it'n not supposed to touch the duck directly...something I gleaned from a recipe years ago, I have no idea if it really makes a difference!

Stephen - this is indeed really seductive - the picture is gorgeous!

Oh, yumma (to quote Logan). That looks fantastic.

Oooohhhhh ... falls off chair. That is my kind of meal. Drool.

This looks wonderful but please where did you get the duck? I live in Southern Maine and would like to know where to purchase fresh duck breast. Thanks.

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