Roasted Duck Breasts with Green Peppercorn Sauce

Serve with St. Supéry Petit Verdot

This rich, elegant dish pairs beautifully with the robust fruit flavors found in the Petit Verdot. Cooking duck can sometimes be intimidating, but it is actually as easy as cooking chicken.  The secret is to use patience, and allow the fat to render slowly while the skin becomes crisp. If you can’t find duck breasts, just remove the breasts from whole ducks and use the legs and thighs for another preparation such as duck confit.

4 boneless duck breasts – about 8oz each
1 tablespoon garlic – chopped
6 sprigs fresh thyme
¼  cup olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper

Score the fat side of the duck with a sharp knife in a crosshatch pattern. This will help the fat to render, and will allow the skin to become crisp.

Combine the duck breasts with the garlic, thyme and olive oil.  Refrigerate overnight.  Rub off the garlic and thyme, then season with salt and pepper. Heat a large, ovenproof, sauté pan over medium heat and add the duck breasts, skin side down.  Cook until the fat is rendered and the skin is golden brown.  Pour off the grease, flip the duck over, and place the pan in a preheated 425 degree oven until medium rare – approximately 15 minutes.  Remove the duck from the pan and pour off the grease.  Cover with foil while you prepare the sauce.

FOR THE SAUCE

¼  cup St. Supéry Petit Verdot
¼  cup port wine
1 cup veal stock or rich chicken stock
1 tablespoon green peppercorns – available canned
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons cream
Salt and pepper to taste

Place the duck roasting pan over medium heat and add the Petit Verdot and the port.  Add the peppercorns and the veal stock.  Simmer until reduced slightly – about 5 minutes.  Add the butter, cream and season with salt and pepper.  Cut the duck on the bias into 4 or 5 pieces, place on plates and spoon the sauce over the duck.

Serves 4