This was a joy for dinner tonight – Crispy Skin Duck Breast with Pomegranate Sauce. I served it with oven roasted red bliss potatoes and green beans.
- 2 x 1# duck breasts
- Salt & pepper
- 2 C POM pomegranate juice
- 1/4 C orange juice
- 2 tbsp. Cointreau (you can use any fruit flavored brandy)
- 2 tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
To make the duck:
- Preheat the oven to 400
- Pat the duck breast dry and let come to room temperature- about 20 minutes
- Taking a sharp knife, cut angled slices thru the fat layer in each direction, making a criss-cross pattern. Try not to cut into the meat
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Put the duck breast, skin side down, into a heavy, oven safe skillet. I use cast iron.
- Cook the duck breast on medium heat for 6 minutes. This will render much of the fat and give a nice crisp crust.
- Turn the duck breast over and sear the meat side for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Turn the duck breast back over, skin side down again, and place the pan into the preheated oven, using the middle rack.
- Cook, undisturbed for 8 to 12 minutes, depending on the size of the breast. 6oz breast will take just 6 or 8 minutes; 1# each took 12 minutes to reach 125 internal temp for medium.
- Remove from the oven and immediately place on a cutting board. Let rest for a few minutes before slicing.
To make the sauce:
- Add POM, Cointreau, OJ, blueberries and balsamic vinegar to a pot. Heat to boiling then turn down and let simmer and thicken, about 1/2 hour, until you have about 3/4C remaining. Add pat of butter and stir. Drizzle some over the duck breast and serve the remaining sauce in a gravy boat for individual use. The combination of sweet and tart was amazing.
The duck recipe is based loosely on Emeril’s recipe, though we prefer just salt and pepper to his seasonings. The sauce is totally my own. I find the orange or cherry sauces frequently served with duck to be way too sweet for my taste, so I started with the POM and added things to balance the flavor until I found this combination. You could add raspberries, pitted cherries, or even cranberries for variation. If you do like a sweeter sauce, instead of using OJ, you could use a tablespoon or two of orange marmalade. The key to the sauce is letting it simmer long enough to thicken slightly.