Saturday, January 19, 2013

Duck Breasts w/ Ginger Gastrique

Could have rested just a tad bit longer to prevent those excess juices from escaping, but still delicious =)

Duck has gotta be on the top of my list when I think of my favorite proteins.  Something about it just makes me salivate every time.  A crisp and tasty skin just really does it for me!

I've been trying to get rid of some items on our bar shelf so that we can make room for newer and tastier things.  There's been a bottle of ginger liqueur sitting there for quite some time.  I just haven't had the opportunity to do anything with it... until now.  A quick and easy gastrique was just the thing to pair with our duck breasts!


2 large duck breasts
salt and pepper, to taste


1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup ginger liqueur
1/2 cup veal or beef stock
1 whole star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon juniper berries
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter.

Roasted Carrots & Turnips, diced (optional)

In a medium saucepan, heat the sugar on medium low heat.  Cook until sugar caramelizes and turns into a syrupy liquid... like you're going to make caramel.  When the sugar is dissolved and has a nice amber color, deglaze the pan with the vinegar and ginger liqueur.  Whisk constantly to remove any clumps.  Reduce by about 3/4 and then add veal stock, star anise, cinnamon, juniper berries, and salt.  Continue to reduce until mixture is at a syrupy, sauce consistency.  Keep warm until needed.

Heat a large saute pan under medium heat.  Season the duck breasts with salt and pepper on both sides.  Add the duck breasts to the dry pan, skin-side down.  Slowly render the fat from the skin until it is nice and crispy, about 7-9 minutes.  You don't want to rush this if you want to get the perfect duck skin!

Flip breast over and continue to cook for about 3-4 minutes, or until duck is at a nice medium rare-medium.  Let rest for about 4-5 minutes before slicing.

Reheat sauce and mount with 1 tablespoon of butter.  Spread a nice bit of sauce on the plate.  Top with desired vegetable or starch (I had roasted from carrots and turnips for this).  Slice duck breasts into thin strips and arrange over top of the vegetables.  Garnish with parsley, if desired.

Another simple, but elegant meal. Take the time to splurge on some duck breasts once in a while - you won't be sorry!


  1. YUM! I have been playing with duck lately... one of my absolute favorite proteins as well! Your ginger gastrique sounds delicious!

  2. I love duck. I have only made entire duck before but never just the crispy breasts. But I love eating them and have done so many times... :-) I agree the crispy skin is absolutely incredible and the meat is so tasty as well. I'll give your recipe a try. It looks so delicious!

  3. Delicious peggy, When you start restaurant, I would like to be regular customer there

  4. This looks great! The duck is cooked just perfrect, still pinky in the middle.

  5. Fancy Smancy! I've always been too intimidated to cook duck. Mostly I just don't know what to do with it. Just may give your recipe a try!

  6. Look at you! I'm not a huge fan of duck but perhaps I could be convinced otherwise.

    My husband and I were trying to recall the 2 restaurants you told me to try at the blogger dinner. It seems like one you said had chicken and waffles (maybe even both of them?) and the other was in Germantown, maybe? You said it was small and people waited in their cars for tables. Ringing any bells?

    1. Of course! Hammerheads in Germantown is the place that is small - they do a sweet potato waffle with fried chicken wings - but their whole menu is pretty solid. By far though, our favorite place for chicken and waffles is the Silver Dollar on Frankfort Ave - to. die. for. =)

    2. Thanks! We were actually trying to think of a place for Valentine's. I'm not sure either of those would necessary fit the bill? What do you think? We've been to several of the "nicer" places though. Any of the new places downtown? We've only been to Harvest.

    3. I think they both would be great for Valentine's Day - just know that Hammerheads doesn't take reservations, but I'm pretty sure the Silver Dollar does! We're actually finally going to check out Seviche for Valentine's Day so we're pretty excited about that