Local Flavors: Crispy Duck Breast with Blood Orange Gastrique
Cook Time: 50 Minutes
½ cup honey
¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 cup fresh-squeezed blood orange juice (approximately 5 oranges)
1 ½ cups chicken stock
1 sprig of fresh thyme
2 duck breasts
To make the blood orange gastrique, place honey into a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat for about five minutes, or until the honey turns to a dark amber color. Add the vinegar and blood orange juice to the honey. Bring to a simmer for approximately five minutes, or until it starts slightly to thicken. Stir in the chicken stock and fresh thyme. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat and reduce the sauce to about a ½ cup, approximately 15 minutes. Strain the sauce through a fine mesh strainer and set aside. The gastrique can be made up to three days ahead of time, stored in the refrigerator, and rewarmed.
Using paper towels, pat the duck breasts until they are completely dry on all sides. Place them skin side up on a cutting board. Score the fat evenly with diagonal parallel slashes, being careful not to cut through to the meat. Season both sides with salt. Place the duck breasts skin side down in a large cold cast iron pan over medium low heat.
Render the duck fat for 10 minutes, or until the skin is crisp and golden brown. Drain off the duck fat and reserve for future use. Flip the breast over and cook for an additional five minutes, or until an instant read thermometer reads 130°F for medium rare.
Transfer duck to a cutting board and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Serve the duck with the blood orange gastrique and your favorite seasonal vegetables.
Diana Jeffra grew up in Oxford and graduated from Gunston in 2001. She went on to graduate from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County with a degree in graphic design. Her love of food and art led her into foodservice marketing, but with an ever-present entrepreneurial spirit that she just couldn’t shake, she quit her job of four years to pursue culinary school with the intent of starting her own business as a food stylist. Before graduating, she spent a summer working abroad in Italy at Hotel Caruso, owned by Belmond. She now gets to create food for commercial photography and develops recipes for numerous brands. You can see her adventures by following her on Instagram @foodstylist_Diana or view more of her work on her website www.dianajeffra.com. Mid-Shore residents Ryan and Allison Prell, friends of Jeffra’s, graciously offered the use of their kitchen for the March 2018 Shore Monthly “Local Flavors” photo shoot.