Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Duck 2 Ways

I'm proud to report that I've achieved a B in my Developmental Bio class!  I did good enough on the final that it gave my class grade that extra boost that it needed!  And I will definitely get a more relaxed Christmas break off!

Almost have all my Christmas shopping done!  Just have to get my brother and sister-in-law's gifts together and shipped out and all will be good!  And one more "big" present for Andy and he's done too!  Hopefully he digs what I've rounded up for him!

We went to the Asian Market this past Sunday and we actually went to one we've never been to before... and it was pretty much fate.  The normal ones we would go to were actually closed (we woke up way early on Sunday and were ready to start our day!) and this one was the only one open.  We walked in, and it was big, the aisles were actually widely spaced!  (We're definitely used to close aisle space!)  And most things had English translations so it was great to actually know what we were looking at too!  Best part... I bought a whole duck for $12.99!  That's a bargain if you ask me, because I go to our local butcher and it's almost $40 for 4 small breasts!  So... my foodie project for the next couple of weeks is to make use of every part of this duck!  Head to toe... well, I couldn't bring myself to keep the head (it was smiling, and kind of creeped me out!).  So any suggestions on how I can use up some of the parts of the duck are well welcomed! (I've already made the breasts, the easiest part to cook with, and I know I want to make a duck stock too, but definitely in need for some ideas and/or recipe suggestions!)

And I also received a package from Marx Foods out of Seattle, WA.  Remember that little questionnaire I had up not too long ago about the Iron Foodie contest?  Well... obviously, I didn't get chosen as one of the lucky 25 to receive a mystery box and make a dish out of... but the nice folks over at Marx Foods sent out a sampler pack (with 5 items of our choosing, mostly spices and dried ingredients) to all the bloggers that didn't get chosen.  Pretty awesome of them, if you ask me!

So what did I get?  Well, I ended up with some samples of Espresso Salt, Longpeppercorns, Guajillo peppers, Organic Aji Amarillo Peppers, and some Black Trumpet Mushrooms.  Pretty awesome, if you ask me!  So the guys over at Marx Foods also challenged us to come up with something with our little samples!  And I love the challenge of coming up with something creative out of random ingredients, so I was all about it!  So this duck dish is what I came up with!  Hope you guys like it!


Spicy Pomegranate Sauce

1 cup pomegranate juice
1 cup chicken stock
1 guajillo pepper
1 aji amarillo pepper
about 5 black trumpet mushrooms
1 tablespoon honey

Duck Breasts

2 duck breasts
1 tablespoon espresso salt
1 teaspoon ground longpepper

Apple Compote

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into wedges
1/2 cup sweet white wine
juice from 1 lemon
1 & 1/2 tablespoons honey
dash of dried rosemary
salt and pepper, to taste

In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients for spicy pomegranate sauce.  Bring to a boil and let simmer for at least 30 minutes, or until slightly thickened.  At this point, you can either blend everything in a blender or just strain out the bulky ingredients.  I really wanted the flavors to really immerse into the liquid, so I let mine simmer for almost an hour and then strained it.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a medium bowl, combine the apples, wine, lemon juice, and honey.  Mix well.  Spread mixture into a baking dish and sprinkle the apples with the dried rosemary.  Season with a little bit of salt and pepper, if desired.  Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. 

Remove the foil and raise oven temperature to 375 F and cook apples for another 15 minutes.  Set aside.

Once apples are done, preheat oven to 400 F.

Heat a large oven proof skillet under medium high heat.  Score the fatty side of the duck breasts in a diagonal pattern and season both sides of breast with Espresso salt and ground longpepper.  Lay duck breasts in skillet, skin side down and cook for about 5-6 minutes.  Turn over and cook an additional minute.

Transfer skillet to oven and bake for about 3-5 minutes, for a nice medium.  Let duck breasts rest for about 3-5 minutes and slice thinly.

To plate, spoon a line of spicy pomegranate sauce in the center of the plate at a diagonal.  Alongside it, place a line of apple compote.  Then place 4-5 pieces of duck on either side of each sauce/compote. 

This was definitely delicious!  You had the sweet and savory tartness of the apple compote and the kicking spicy pomegranate sauce that both paired perfectly with the duck!  It was definitely one of those meals that left me wishing I had more duck breasts around!  Enjoy guys!


  1. What a gourmet meal! Duck is so exotic to me. :)

  2. Duck looks delicious. congrats on getting good grade.

  3. Hey Peggy,

    What a coincident that you ask that duck question. We just had Peking duck last night (at a restaurant). Not sure if you've ever had it. Anyways, they use the whole duck in 3 different dishes. The first dish is just the duck skin sliced into pieces. The skin is then wrapped with shredded carrots, cucumber, and onions with housin sauce in a flour shell (kind of like a soft taco wrap/shell).

    The second dish is a stir fry of the duck meat with a veggie of your choice. Some people choose lettuce, some choose bok choy, and some choose Gailan (a Chinese veggie).

    The third dish is a soup made from the duck bones, tofu, mushrooms, and another type of Chinese veggie.

    Your dish sounds absolutely delicious! The sweet and tartness of the apple compute definitely goes well with duck. Love the presentation also. Great dish!

  4. I've never cooked duck before...though I had it at a restaurant once and looooooved it! These recipes look delicious. Congrats on the B in bio!!

  5. Looks amazing Peggy!!! $40 buck for duck breasts to $12.99 for the whole shabang is awesome!!

    So happy school is going so well for you!!

    Thta package from Marx Foods sounds awesome and you're utilizing it quite well with your duck breast dish! Love the apple compote on the side! You rule.

  6. Congrats on your achievement! What a fabulous meal...looks great...

  7. That is an amazing looking meal you prepared. I have only ever made breast myself (funnily enough, I made some yesterday too). Look forward to seeing how you use the other parts.

  8. Wat a festive food, interesting..

  9. Congratulations on your grade. This is the perfect dish to celebrate this.

  10. Congrats on the grade - now RELAX! Love duck...both these ways (love your blog title...heehee...congrats).

  11. Mmmhhh, very yummy! Duck is such a flavorful meat.



  12. I love this recipe! I've been wanting to cook duck but I wasn't sure how to get started. This seems like a good way to try it out though. Congrats on a B in Bio! I just finished finals on Friday myself :-)

    You have the cutest blog title, I'd def love you to check out my blog at =)



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