Salt Roasted Duck Breast with Vanilla Bean and Rutabagas
Vanilla paste gives a mere hint of flavor to create a delicious, crunchy, caramelized crust on the duck skin without sweetness. Long pepper is an unusual spice that adds subtle heat and flavor to this dish. If you can't find long pepper, substitute freshly ground black pepper.
Serves 4 to 6
4 duck breasts, 8 ounces each
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
Coarse Sea Salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated long pepper or freshly ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 cup rich chicken or duck stock
1. Trim the excess fat from the edges of the duck breasts. Use a thin knife to remove sinew or silver skin from the meat. Place the breasts in a non-reactive bowl or baking dish. Add the vanilla paste, 1 tablespoon salt, long pepper and 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Mix well to evenly coat the breasts with the marinade. Wrap and store overnight in the refrigerator. Remove the duck from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking.
2. Heat a 12 inch sauté pan over medium low heat. When the pan is warm, add the duck breasts skin side down. Increase the heat to medium and slowly cook the breasts so that the fat renders from the skin. As the fat accumulates, hold the duck breasts down with a spatula and tilt the pan to drain the fat into a heatproof dish. Continue to cook the breast until the skin is golden and crisp, about 10 to 15 minutes.
3. Turn the breast over and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes to medium. Remove the duck breast to a plate to rest before slicing. Cover lightly with foil to keep warm.
4. Drain the fat from the duck breast pan and add the wine. Reduce over medium high heat to almost dry, than add the stock and reduce by half, season with salt and pepper. Slice the duck breast on the diagonal in half. Arrange over the rutabagas and spoon the hot sauce over to serve.