Savory duck breasts with a porcini sauce, sundried tomatoes and tarragon, heavenly!
You will soon notice that I cook almost everything with olive oil, that’s because I am crazy for olive oil, always looking for the best one, one for cooking and another one for salads. Obviously, if you do not like olive oil as much as I do, feel free to use the vegetable oil of your choice.
3 duck breasts
2 tbsp. minced shallots
About 80 grams (a handful) dried porcini
1 1/2 tsp dried or fresh tarragon
About 10 sundried tomatoes cut in half
200 ml heavy cream
1 tsp. corn starch (corn flour)
100 ml white wine
100 ml chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste
A pinch of cayenne
Oil and butter to cook with
Remove the skin of duck breasts, there is an easy side to start with, separate the skin from the flesh with your hands as much as you can, there's one easy side, finish with a sharp kitchen knife (don’t throw away the skins)
Make three of four superficial incisions into the breasts on both sides
Into a skillet, add 2 or 3 tbsp. olive oil and sear duck breasts on medium high heat about 3 minutes on each side, then 2 minutes more on each side (I like duck meat medium cooked, if you prefer it well done, you can put the too rare slices back into the still hot skillet for about 2 minutes)
Whilst the duck breasts are searing, into a saucepan, heat 2 tbsp. oil + 1 tbsp. butter, add minced shallots and simmer on medium heat until translucent
Add dried porcini, chicken broth and white wine and simmer until reduced to half
Add salt, pepper and a pinch of cayenne
Make a slurry with the cornstarch and 2 tbsp. water, add to the sauce, stir well
Add heavy cream and give the sauce a boil only to thicken it, then immediately reduce heat
Add tarragon and sundried tomatoes, simmer for 2-3 minutes more
Adjust spices if necessary
Slice the duck brests in about 1/2-inch-thick slices, if you find them well enough done, arrange nicely into a plate and pour the sauce over
If you like duck meat more done, put the too rare slices back into the still hot skillet (with the burners off) for a few seconds, flipping them to achieve perfect doneness.
Serve with roasted rosemary and garlic potatoes for example.
I always sear my duck breasts 3 minutes on each side, then 2 minutes more on each side, even if the center slices will end up a bit rare, then when I slice fillets, I just put back the rare slices into the still hot skillet (with the burners off) to finish cooking. I find it helps achieve an even cooking, or else the extremities get too dry and burnt.
Most of times I'll remove the skin of duck breasts, it makes it easier to cook them evenly, plus it avoids greasing the whole kitchen...
Something to do with the duck skins: put them into a lidded saucepan and melt them over low/medium heat, collect the oil, filter it, let cool and store into a lidded container in the fridge for about a month. You can then use it to sautéed or roast potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, parsnips, etc., delicious!
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