Duck with Fig and Shallot Compote
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 12 shallots, peeled
- 1 cup fruity red wine (Zinfandel, Merlot, or Pinot Noir)
- 3/4 cup chicken stock
- 12 dried California figs, stemmed
- 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Pinch of ground cloves
- Salt; to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper; to taste
- 6 duck breast halves with skin (about 5 ounces each)
In medium skillet over medium heat, warm olive oil. Add shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 10 minutes. Stir in wine, chicken stock, figs, lemon zest, sugar, and cloves. Reduce heat to low and simmer until figs are very soft, about 30 to 45 minutes. Then, increase the heat to high and simmer until sauce thickens, 5 to 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place duck breasts on work surface, skin side up. With sharp knife, score skin in a grid pattern, cutting only halfway through. Heat large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add duck breasts, skin side down, and cook until skin is golden and fat has rendered, 6 to 8 minutes. Turn and season with salt and pepper; transfer to oven. Roast at 400°F until medium-rare (180°F), 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from oven, and remove duck from pan. Cover duck with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, warm fig sauce. Cut each duck breast, diagonally, into 1/2-inch thick slices. Divide and fan the slices onto 6 individual serving plates. Spoon warm sauce over and serve.
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