Breasts pan-seared to tasty perfection, and served with blackberry jus
RECIPE AND PHOTO BY CAMERON TAIT
There’s no better time to serve wild duck than right after a successful day’s hunt. Unlike geese, duck requires little time to prepare and marinate, and it can be cooked to medium or even medium rare. And paired with this creamy risotto and light blackberry jus, it’s sure to rival the delicious offerings of the finest restaurants. Serves 2
2 duck breasts, skin on
2 tbsp olive oil
Zest of ½ orange
Pinch fresh ground black pepper
6 oz fresh blackberries
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
Juice of one orange
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp maple syrup
Pinch kosher salt and pepper
Slurry (1 tsp cornstarch, 2 tsp cold water)
2 tbsp salted butter
¼ yellow onion, small dice
2/3 cup arborio rice (only use Arborio for risotto preparation)
¼ cup white wine
2 cups chicken stock
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Pinch chopped parsley
Salt and pepper, to taste
Place the duck breasts in a sealable container with the olive oil, zest and pepper; refrigerate for 24 hours.
Blend all the sauce ingredients (except the slurry) in a small saucepan and place over medium heat for 20 minutes. Add the slurry and stir to prevent lumps, then bring to a simmer before removing from heat. Push mixture through a fine strainer, then set aside.
Remove the breasts from the fridge, wipe off the zest and let sit at room temperature while cooking the risotto (next step).
In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat, then add the onion and sweat until translucent. Add the rice and stir for one minute to coat in butter, then add the wine and stir to combine. Reduce for one minute, then turn heat to low.
Add the chicken stock ¼ cup at a time, stirring occasionally. When all the stock is added, check to make sure the rice is tender; if not, add another ¼ cup stock. Add the cheese and parsley, then salt and pepper. Remove from heat and cover.
In a non-stick pan over medium heat, add a small amount of olive oil then place the breasts skin side down. Sear for three minutes on the first side, then turn over and continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches at least 130°F for medium rare (approximately 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the size of the breasts).
Remove the breasts from the pan and rest on paper towel for 5 minutes; in the meantime, gently reheat the sauce and risotto.
Thinly slice the breasts against the grain, place on the risotto and drizzle with the sauce. Serve immediately with seasonal vegetables.
FOR THE GLASS
With its ripe flavours of black cherry, wild strawberry and red currant, along with hints of black tea and sage, 2021 Decoy California Pinot Noir makes the perfect accompaniment for this savoury wild duck dish.