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Recipe: Fresh Duck Breasts with Wild Mushrooms

I love this easy recipe for fresh duck breasts with wild mushrooms.  Any type of mushrooms can be used, even button mushrooms.  Dried wild mushrooms (reconstituted) would work well for this recipe, or any type of fresh wild mushrooms such as morel mushrooms, chanterelle mushrooms, or porcini mushrooms.  You can certainly add a drizzle of truffle oil if you would like, just before serving.

Fresh duck breasts or previously frozen duck breasts can be used with equally good results.  If you like your duck breast meat rare, be sure to take the duck breasts out of the pan before they seem cooked enough.  It’s easy to overcook duck breasts if you are not careful.

If you don’t have demi-glace on hand, use a dark chicken stock and reduce the stock in half before adding to the sauce.

Fresh Duck Breasts with Wild Mushroom Sauce

Ingredients:

2 fresh duck breasts, about 1.75 pounds total weight

2 tablespoons butter

1/3 cup shopped shallots

8 ounces wild mushrooms or button mushrooms

1 teaspoon herbs de Provence

2/3 cup red wine, good quality

1 cup demi-glace

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Remove excess fat from the sides of the duck breasts.  Score the skin in a cross-hatch pattern, being careful not to pierce the meat.  Season the fresh duck breasts with salt and pepper on both sides.

Saute the shallots in the butter until translucent and soft.  Add the wild mushrooms and saute for about 5 – 8 minutes.  Add the herbs de Provence and the wine and reduce to about 1/3 cup.  Add the demi-glace and simmer until the sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 6 – 8 minutes.

While the sauce is reducing and thickening, heat a large heavy skillet to medium high. Place the fresh duck breasts skin side down and cook for about 5 – 8 minutes, or until the skin is brown and crisp.  Turn the duck breasts over and cook on the meat side for 1 – 2 minutes.  When the duck breasts seem still quite rare, take them out of the pan, cover them with foil and let them rest for several minutes.  The duck breasts will release juice, which can be added to the sauce before serving.

Slice the duck breasts and serve with the slices fanned on each plate.  Spoon the wild mushrooms and sauce over the duck breasts.  Serve with green vegetable or salad and mashed potatoes.

Serves 4

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