Wine + Food with Teona: Volume 9

As a working parent, I hate to admit that Mr. and I don’t get to go out as much as we’d like. That said, it has never stopped us from pampering our palates with dinners at home. So basically, when my five year old has her play dates, I try to always be prepared with a simple snack, just like this Pan Seared Duck Breast with Blackberry-Cassis Sauce. It avoids those pesky kid allergies and does the body gooood. 🙂

Pan-Seared Duck Breast with Blackberry-Cassis Sauce
Duck has so much to offer, with its dark and rich flavored fleshy goodness, I’m very delighted to share this recipe with you.

Duck Breast:
– Allow the duck breast to come to room temperature.
– Score the duck skin in a crosshatch patter with a pairing knife, making sure not to cut through the flesh.
– Salt both sides generously.
– Place skin-side down on a cold cast iron pan and turn the heat on to medium-low. This way, the pan will heat slowly along with the ducks’ skin/fat, rendering the fat properly and achieving beautiful crispy skin. (Plus, I’m a bit possessive of all the duck fat I can get out of it for future use in roasted potatoes – anyone?). You can move the duck around the pan with a spoon to reinforce the crispiness. Once the skin is very crisp and rendered (about 8-10 mins) turn it over flesh side down and cook for the another 3 minutes (to 135-140 degrees for a nice medium-rare). Remove to a rack and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

Blackberry-Cassis Pan Sauce:
– In the same already deliciously seasoned pan, leave about 1 teaspoon of rendered duck fat and set the rest aside for future use.
– Add finely chopped shallots (or any other allium of your choice) to the pan and sauté until translucent.
– Next, add 1/2 cup of blackberries.
– In with the blackberries goes 1/2 cup of Creme de Cassis (Pierre-Marie Chermette is my absolute favorite Creme de Cassis producer), and let reduce.
– Add 1 teaspoon of fish sauce, 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, and mount with butter. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking. Once it is off the heat I like to throw a fresh Rosemary sprig in there to infuse. – So aromatic.
– Transfer sauce to a plate. Slice the duck breast thin and arrange over the sauce.

My all-time favorite side dish for this beauty is a drool-worthy Fondant Potatoes made with that same duck fat we set aside for future use.

Pairing: Rene Bouvier Cotes de Nuits-Villages 2015
A stunning offering leading with rounder fruits than many other Burgundies. Look for blackberry fruit with savory spices in the Pinot. With its robust and structured qualities, like those velvety smooth tannins and a lingering finish, this beauty compliments the duck dish fantastically. And for the Kiddos: Kool-Aid.