* 2 duck breast, skin on
fresh ground salt and pepper
*1 cup of chicken broth
*1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (I like Acropolis Organics because there are no preservatives or added sugar)
*1 cup fresh blackberries
Preheat the oven to 400°
Grind salt and pepper onto both sides of the duck breast. Using a sharp knife, cut a cross pattern into the duck skin but be careful not to pierce the meat. Place the duck breast skin side down onto your seasoned cast iron pan (I use coconut oil to season it), or use any pan that you can put in the oven. Turn the heat to medium – the fat will render well if you start with a cold pan. I’ve also seen this done in a hot pan, but I’ve tried both and prefer to start without heat- Gordon Ramsay agrees!
As the duck heats up, you’ll have to drain the fat into a bowl so that there is always just a bit left in the pan. Keep your attention on the pan, and keep the bowl where you’ll be draining the fat away from the heat. The good news is that you can store this fat in the fridge and use it for cooking later- worth the effort I’d say. Allow the skin side to cook until golden brown then turn it over so that the flesh side can have some contact with the heat- just a quick sear. Turn it skin side down again and place it in the oven for 6-8 min (internal temperature of 115°). You can also use the “bounce test” my dad taught me, to test if it’s cooked medium rare…once again Gordan Ramsay does the same (see 1:26, or watch the whole thing if you’re not interested in reserving the fat, plus he’s just cool to watch). Plate the duck and let it sit, don’t cut into it yet, until you’ve made your sauce.
The sauce. Using the same pan, with some duck drippings still inside, add the broth. Let it come to a boil then add the balsamic vinegar and stir. You can even add a tablespoon of the rendered duck fat for a little more flavour. Stir frequently, continue to cook until the liquid begins to reduce. Add the blackberries and continue to stir. Be patient. Once it’s reduced to a syrup, it’s ready to serve and worth the wait. Slice and add sauce~ a labour of love<3