French Fridays with Dorie – Duck Breasts with Fresh Peaches
Duck Breasts with Fresh Peaches Haiku:
I keep forgetting.
Dorie reminds me again…
I like to eat duck
Duck is not chicken,
beef, pork, lamb, or Friday fish.
Change I believe in.
Remember when I
said I disliked fruity duck?
I did not mean this!
Duck love doesn’t die
though our dates are infrequent
duck passions persist.
Duck Breasts with Fresh Peaches
Chic company fare?
Perhaps. Although I ate alone.
(Just Dorie and me .)
Tomorrow’s lunch will excel
(husband misses out.)
with Fresh Peaches
As usual, when I size down a recipe like this to serve two I leave the sauce alone and make a 'full batch'. I'm always glad I did. Dorie suggests using any leftovers on a salad the next day. I obeyed and added a tablespoon of the remaining sauce to the dressing to good effect.
This pan fried duck method is always the same no matter the origin of the recipe. Sauce will makes the dish here. I prefer a duck sauce that is not fruit based and Dorie once again delivers with this vinegar based sauce that would work just as nicely served with a pork tenderloin or filet mignon.
Do not over cook the duck. It is easy to do if you have chicken on the brain and are not used to duck's rosy color. Since it continues to cook in the oven while it rests give yourself some leeway.
Dorie Greenspan's original recipe can be found here
This is what you will need:
- 2 small duck breasts
- 2 thyme sprigs
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 1 ripe but firm peach, peeked, halved, pitted
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 2 tablespoons tawny port
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon butter, cut into pieces
- salt and pepper, to taste
This is how you make it:
- Preheat ove to 200 degrees and prepare a sheet of aluminum foil on a small cookie tray to hold the duck breasts when they have been cooked.
- Using a sharp knife, score the the skin of the ducks in a cross hatch pattern being careful not to cut into the duck meat itself. This makes a nice design on the breast but it is also assisting in releasing the beautiful duck fat into the pan. Salt and pepper each breast.
- Heat a dutch oven to medium high heat. Quickly put the duck breasts in the pan, skin side down, and let them sear for 7 minutes. Try not to move them. The duck fat will release and they will simmer to make a nice crispy skin. This is a good thing. Turn the breasts and cook for 2 minutes more. Remove the duck from the pan and set it on the aluminum foil. Close up the foil and put the pan in the warm oven to rest.
- Pour off some of the fat. To taste. I leave in about 2 tablespoons because, well, duck fat is just about the best thing ever. Add one thyme sprig and the garlic to the pan and stir briefly. Lower the heat slightly and put the peach halves in the pan, flat side down and let them simmer for 5-7 minutes or until nicely golden. Firmer peaches can benefit here with a few extra minutes or turning after the peach's flat side has browned. Nicely ripe peaches will not require turning. After they are brown, remove from the pan and set aside.
- Pour out all the remaining fat. (Boo! Save it in a mason jar for a veggie sauté and experience heaven.) Add honey, vinegars, port and let come to a tiny boil. Stir in butter and whisk until mixed and 'creamy'.
- Remove the duck from foil and add in any duck juices in the foil.
- Plate the duck or slice it and fan out on the plate, spoon over the sauce as desired and set a peach beside it. Garnish with the leaves from the remaining thyme sprig
This dish was an assignment for French Friday’s with Dorie, a cooking group working its way through Dorie Greenspan’s culinary tome “ Around My French Table” . See how the rest of the group performed here . We generally avoid including the recipes in our posts. However, wherever there has been a significant adaptation by me or where the recipe has already been publicly posted by Ms. Greenspan or her publishers or by hundreds of other bloggers I will either include it here (only when adapted) or provide a direct link to it. Please feel free to contact me via the link provided on my page if you need any assistance finding a French Friday with Dorie Recipe. You should buy the book though.
It will change your life as it has mine.