Duck Breasts with Almonds, Garlic and Cumin
July 23, 2009 • Meat & Poultry
I’m currently reading a really great book, A Hungry Woman in Paris, and it got me thinking about my last trip to France which included a week at the somewhat famous cooking school of Susan Hermann Loomis in Louviers, a small town outside of Paris in Normandy. All of the food and wine from that week was fabulous, but I especially liked this duck dish, so thought I’d share the recipe with you.
Duck breasts can be found packaged individually or in pairs in the frozen foods section of better groceries, or you can buy duck fresh from a farmer like I do. Make sure to cook the breast low and slow on the first side to render out all of that fat from the skin.
Serves 6 to 8
2-3 pounds fattened duck breasts (skin on)
1Â½ cups freshly squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1Â½ cups whole almonds, coarsely chopped
3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Â½ teaspoon cumin
Â½ teaspoon sea salt
Bring the orange juice to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until the liquid has reduced to about 3/4 cup. Remove from heat, whisk in balsamic vinegar and reserve.
In a heavy skillet over medium heat, cook the dusk breasts, skin side down, until the skin is golden brown and most of the fat has melted, about 8-10 minutes. Turn the duck and cook until the meat is cooked on the outside but still medium rare, about 3-5 minutes. Remove the duck breasts and place them on a cutting board that will collect any juices. Season with salt and pepper.
Place 2 tablespoons of the melted duck fat into a medium saucepan over medium heat and add the almonds. Cook until toasty but not burned, about 5 minutes, then add the garlic, cumin and salt and cook until the garlic is golden and the cumin is fragrant, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt.