Duck Breast with Raspberry Sauce and Wild Rice


Adventures in the test kitchen have NOT been very successful this week! Too many adaptions from readers on the Chili Con Carne recipe..I did try and test them out and a shout out to Louise P for her spicy Turkey Chili. It was a winner- beans and all.. Thanks to Jackie at the Hamptons Antique Gallery for showing me all the delicious things you can buy through Neiman Marcus that require no work…and another last salute to the wonderful man who called me mid preparation of the Chili to ask if he had the right cut of meat. It is always fun at Chili week! But alas, its time to dress up and have VIP guests for dinner.

So instead of forging ahead with another recipe this evening. I am pulling out my most favorite “just getting cold” fancy meal. This recipe serves 4 and I reserve it for very special occasions!

Start the Wild Rice first, then the sauce and finally the duck.

Cook 1 Cup of Wild Rice in Light Chicken Stock. If your stock is not clear – dilute it by a 1/4- The rice can become too rich if the stock is too heavy. When the wild rice is done- strain and add 1/2 cup of chopped pecans and 1/4 cup of diced cooked goose liver. (you can use this canned or from your butcher). Taste for salt and pepper.

Now the Sauce: Combine 2 tablespoons of sugar, 4 ounces of raspberry vinegar, and a pint of fresh raspberries. Place in a sauce pan over a medium flame and let it reduce until it becomes syrupy. Add 2 1/2 cups of Duck Stock (Don’t panic! see below).  Cook for another 15 to 20 mins over medium heat. Remove from heat and allow to cool. When cool enough to handle- its off to the blender or food processor- on puree. You’ll get seeds from the berries- so a quick trip through any strainer and then back on the medium heat.

Quick Note:  If you have gotten this far….you already know that you have created something quite marvelous !

Stir in the arrowroot starch ( dissolve in cold water first). Cook a bit more and then taste to see if you need salt or pepper. Lower the heat and lets start the duck!

In a good sized skillet, place 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Saute the breasts when the oil is hot (sizzle) until they are medium. You can do this with skin or without.  That is pink inside and a bit resilient when you press down with your finger.

Slice each breast with a sharp knife and fan them over the wild rice, garnish with fresh raspberries ( 3 or 4), then coat with the sauce and serve.

You can go raspberry crazy ( which I love!) and do a salad of endive, watercress and raspberries in in a raspberry vinaigrette- to start. And a raspberry mousse to end – with chocolat bien sur! or a dark chocolate cake with raspberry sauce and a shot of Framboise. You can even do a raspberry butter using the food processor and honey mixed with fresh unsalted butter but this must be done the day before and refrigerated in individual ramekins. 

For a contrast, I would suggest a fresh steamed spinach lightly tossed in a heated butter and garlic in a dish to the side.

Serve with a wine that can stand up to the earthiness of Duck. Particular recommendations with the requisite earthiness would be: (1) from Sta. Rita Hills, Rusack’s Reserve Pinot or the Clos Pepe Estate; (2) from Santa Cruz Mountains, Mount Eden’s or Thomas Fogarty’s Estate Pinots (3) from Oregon’s Amity Hills, Evening Land’s La Source Seven Springs Vineyard or St. Innocent’s Zenith.

Notes on Duck Stock:

1. You can substitute with a heavy chicken or pork stock ( add a little Madeira)

2. You can buy on line or in gourmet groceries

3. You can make yourself: and if you hunt- this is the way to go- preheat your oven to 350 and brown the bones and carcass of the duck for about 45 mins. In a stockpot, melt butter and brown vegetables (celery and carrots and whatever you have ie turnips. leeks). add some Madeira. Add the bones, water, salt and simmer for an hour. Strain and discard the fat.

Add the Endive Salad as a starter:

Lay Watercress on individual salad plates. Arrange endive leaves in a circle like a blooming flower- place fresh raspberries in the center and swirl a sweet raspberry vinaigrette dressing over top, From thr duck preparation- fry small amounts of duck skin (like bacon) and crumble on top- add blue cheese if you wish.