When it's done, take it off and let it rest before slicing. This recipe is perfect for those of us who are impatient -- the time it takes to cook the potatoes and the sauce is just the right amount of time the duck needs to rest. Don't skip ahead in the recipe -- follow it in order, and instead of trying to save time by slicing the duck while you wait for the potatoes to cook, do something else...have a glass of wine, clean up your previous course, etc. When we cook outdoors, I try to plan my meals so that while something is cooking (something that doesn't need my immediately and constant attention, like these potatoes), we can be eating a different course. If you use my beach picnic menu, start cooking the duck when you start eating your soup...that way, the multi-tasker inside you will be thrilled that you're eating, the duck is resting, and the potatoes are cooking, all at the same time.
I found some amazing maitake and chanterelle mushrooms while shopping for duck, so I added them to the pan right after cooking the potatoes and sauteed them briefly.
2 duck breasts
2c small fingerling potatoes (cut large ones so that all potato pieces are about 1 1/2-2" max)
2 diced shallots
1/2c blackberry jam
1/2 pint fresh or frozen blackberries
2t whole wheat flour
2c beef or duck stock
1/8-1/4t crushed red pepper flakes
1T fresh thyme
salt and pepper
- Score the fat on the duck breasts (make diagonal cuts through the entire thickness of the fat, all the way down to but not into the breast) in a crosshatch pattern. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Over a medium low flame, let a skillet get nice and hot. Like really hot.
- Place breasts fat side down in the skillet for 10 minutes. Time it. Don't peek and don't siphon off the fat that is rendered.
- Flip over, and cook another 7 minutes. Time it again.
- Remove from pan and place somewhere to keep warm (wrap or tent with foil).
- While pan is still hot, add fingerlings. Carefully saute over medium heat until skins are crisp and potatoes are cooked through, about 10 minutes. Cover the skillet if your potatoes do not seem to be cooking fast enough.
- Remove potatoes and fat; keep warm.
- Add shallots to the pan, and saute 3-4 minutes. They should be brown, not charred.
- Add jam, fresh berries, flour, marsala, stock, pepper flakes, and thyme.
- Stir to incorporate flour, and bring to a simmer. Simer 5 minutes to thicken.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Slice duck breasts thinly, and serve with potatoes and sauce. Top with chives, if desired.