- 4 boneless duck breast halves, skin side scored, dried overnight uncovered in a refrigerator, skin-side up
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 1 (750 ml) bottle NY State sweet wine (Riesling or Gewurtztraminer)
- 2 tablespoons minced shallots
- 1 tablespoon peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
- 1/2 sprig fresh thyme
- 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup seedless red grapes, halved
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives
- Iron-skillet Potato Cakes, recipe follows
- 4 cups baby arugula
For the duck: Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F.
Season the duck breasts generously with the kosher salt and black pepper. Reserve.
In a medium saucepan combine the wine, shallots, peppercorns, garlic, and thyme. Reduce to 1/4 cup. Whisk in the cold butter. Strain into a serving vessel and add the grapes and chives. Reserve in a warm place until ready to serve.
Heat a large heavy skillet over high heat. Sear the duck breasts, skin side-down, for 5 minutes or until golden brown. Turn over and cook to desired temperature, about 4 minutes for medium-rare.
Allow the duck breasts to rest for 5 minutes before carving them on the bias. Place 1 Iron-skillet Potato Cake on each of 4 plates. Fan the slices over the potato cakes, top with some of the arugula and drizzle with the sweet wine glaze. Serve immediately.
Iron-skillet Potato Cake:
- 4 medium baking potatoes, like russets
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- Essence, recipe follows
- 1/2 cup duck fat
Place the potatoes in a pot. Add enough cold water to cover them by 1-inch. Add a pinch of salt to the water and bring to a boil. Cook the potatoes until they are almost fork tender, about 20 minutes. Place them on a plate and let them cool for 10 minutes. Carefully peel the potatoes. Grate them on a cheese grater and place in a bowl. Add the salt, pepper, and Essence and gently mix to incorporate.
Heat a 10-inch, cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add the duck fat and wait until the fat is almost smoking. Make 3-inch pancakes with the grated potato and add to the pan. Cook until golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes, then flip, and cook until golden brown on the other side.
Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):
- 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.
Yield: about 2/3 cup
Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch. Published by William and Morrow, 1993.