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Duck Breasts with Peaches and Tarragon

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Serves four.

  • by Bruce Weinstein, Mark Scarbrough from Fine Cooking
    Issue 99

This elegant meal is shockingly simple to make. If fresh, ripe apricots are available, you can use them instead of peaches.

  • 2 1-lb. boneless duck breasts
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced (1/2 cup)
  • 6 Tbs. dry white wine or dry vermouth
  • 6 Tbs. lower-salt chicken broth
  • 3 medium peaches (or 6 medium apricots), pitted and sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh tarragon leaves
  • 2 tsp. mild honey, such as clover honey

Heat the oven to 425°F. Score the skin and fat on each breast without cutting into the meat. Season with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper.

Heat a 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the breasts skin side down and cook until the skin is browned and crisp, about 6 minutes. Flip and put the skillet in the oven. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 130° to 135°F for medium rare, 8 to 9 minutes.

Transfer the duck to a cutting board. Discard all but 1 Tbs. fat from the skillet. Swirl in the butter and return the skillet to medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add the broth and simmer until reduced by half, another 2 minutes. Add the peaches, tarragon, honey, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Stir until the sauce is bubbling, 1 minute.

Slice the duck and serve with the fruit sauce.

Serving Suggestions

Add a side of  Green Beans with Goat Cheese and Walnuts for a complete meal.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 310; Fat (g): 14; Fat Calories (kcal): 130; Saturated Fat (g): 4.5; Protein (g): 25; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 6; Carbohydrates (g): 17; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1.5; Sodium (mg): 300; Cholesterol (mg): 140; Fiber (g): 2;

Photo: Scott Phillips

This is a gorgeous rendition, easy and as good as eating out!

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