Get ready for duck season, and the holidays, with this wonderful recipe.
Maybe this Christmas you can serve up something a little different than the same old turkey or ham that so many households across the country offer their guests. Duck breasts are fancy enough that some house guests might think you went overboard, but if you are a hunter, duck is hopefully plentiful enough that serving up a bunch just gives you more reason to get back to the blind.
These duck breasts with raspberry mushroom sauce recipe is very easy to make. When it comes right down to it, it's just a pan sear with a throw-together pan sauce that tastes absolutely amazing. Paired with some common late-fall veggies and some mashed potatoes, and you have a feast that five star restaurants would be happy to serve.
Duck breasts - skin and fat on - I cooked 4
1 large shallot - diced
1 pack of mushrooms of your choice
1/2 cup red wine - good wine that you would actually drink
concentrated beef stock
1 carton of raspberries
salt/pepper for taste
To get this recipe going, season both sides of the duck breasts with salt and pepper. I like to use coarse salt so I can see where the salt is and I know how much is there. At the same time, heat a pan, oil free, to a medium high heat. You won't really need oil for this recipe since the duck fat produces more than enough lubrication to keep the breasts from burning. Once the pan is hot, place two breasts at a time, fat side down for about seven to eight minutes, or until the fat is nice and crispy. Then, flip it and cook the other side for about two to three minutes longer.
Once both sides of all four duck breasts are done, place them in a covered baking dish in the oven at about 275 or so until you finish up everything else.
At this point, you will have a lot of fat left over in the pan. Get rid of all of it except for about a half cup. Just pour that into a separate jar until later. Now, melt about a half stick of butter in the still-hot pan. Add the mushrooms (chopped or at least sliced), and the shallots. Cook this together until the shallots start to get a little crispy and clear and the mushrooms release their moisture. Then, add in a fairly decent portion of chopped garlic, maybe three cloves, and pour in the 1/2 cup of good red wine. Stir all this together scraping up bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Bring it all to a boil.
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As the wine reduces from boiling, stir in the concentrated beef stock and the reserved duck fat. If you can find some demi-glace in your grocery store, use a cup of that instead. For this part, I actually used one tub of Knorr Concentrated Beef Stock found here. Continue to stir until the sauce becomes very rich, smooth, and creamy. Remove the duck breasts from the baking dish and pour in some of the liquid that has gathered in the dish as well. Now, add in the tub of raspberries and simmer together for about five minutes.
This sauce will be very rich so go lightly as you add it on your duck, especially your guests' duck. I combined my duck breasts with raspberry mushroom sauce with a brown sugar and honey-baked mixture of apples, pumpkin slices, and onions as well as mashed potatoes, all seen in the finished picture.
All photos by Brad Smith.
If you have any questions about any part of this recipe, feel free to ask me on Twitter at @bradsmith319. Enjoy!