Duck Breast with Fig, Dried Cranberry and a Balsamic Reduction

Duck BreastCourtesy of Chef Molly Schaefer Priest of Df and Taqueria Nueve

for 3 whole duck breasts, serving 6

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
12 dried mission figs, whole
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Halve and trim the breasts of excess fat. Score the skin and rub with the pepper mix. Set aside for a couple of hours to season/dry in the refrigerator.

Saute the duck breasts, skin side down, to render the fat and cook until they crisp up. Turn the breast and just cook long enough to seal the other side.

Remove from the pan and set aside on a parchment-lined sheet pan (they can be refrigerated at this point and finished in the oven at a later time).

Drain the fat from the sate pan. Add the balsamic, figs and cranberries to the pan and cook the fruit until it plumps up. Remove the fruit from the vinegar and set aside to keep warm. Boil the vinegar until reduced to a thick syrup, strain and set aside.

While the syrup is reducing, you can finish the duck in a 375 degree oven for 7 minutes for medium rare.

To assemble:
Slice the duck and fan out on a plate. Sprinkle the figs and cranberries around the duck and drizzle with the reduced balsamic.

Pepper Mix:
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
6 juniper berries
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon sugar

Blend all of the ingredients until finely ground. Store in a lidded jar.