Friday, November 14, 2014

FFwD - Pan-seared Duck Breasts with Kumquats


Today´s recipe for the French Fridays with Dorie group is „Pan-seared Duck Breasts with Kumquats“ – a restaurant-quality dish made using wonderful ingredients.




Dorie´s recipe is based on the famous French classic „Duck à l´orange“ – but her recipe replaces whole duck with Muscovy duck breasts and the syrupy orange glaze with a red-wine sauce and tart-sweet candied kumquats.

Kumquats are also called „Chinese oranges“ (although mine hailed all the way from South Africa). They are the smallest of the common citrus fruit. In contrast to other fruit from this group, the skin and zest are sweet, while the juicy insides are tart with a hint of bitterness. As they are a  winter treat, they were a bit hard to track down around here. Kumquats can be eaten whole, just as they are or cooked with sugar, spices or spirits to make sweet compôtes and aromatic chutneys.




This recipe is done in three steps. First up you have to candy the kumquats in sugar syrup. Then it is onto the sauce made of a fruity red wine, balsamic vinegar, chopped shallots, crushed black peppercorns and coriander seeds, freshly squeezed orange juice, homemade chicken broth and a few tablespoons of that lovely kumquat syrup. The third and last step is the preparation of the duck breasts.




To prepare the duck breats, using a sharp knife, slash the fat of the duck breasts in a criss-cross, cutting almost through to the flesh. Season with salt and pepper. Then heat a Dutch oven or a heavy-based frying pan, until you can feel a gentle heat, then place the duck breasts, skin-side down. Cook for eight minutes on a low to medium heat until the fat begins to melt. Spoon over the duck and season some more. When the skin begins to brown and crisp, spoon out the excess fat (there will be lots of it) to save for frying shoestring potatoes. Flip over the breasts and cook for another three minutes on the flesh side. This will give you medium-rare duck. Remove from the heat, cover with foil, place in the oven and allow to stand for five minutes,  then slice diagonally.

Divide duck breast slices among the plates. Drizzle duck with red wine sauce, garnish with candied kumquats, sprinkle with crushed peppercorns, and serve with some seasonal lambs lettuce and delectable shoestring fries made with the duck fat that you saved earlier.




This recipe is truly amazing. The sauce is dependent on a good-quality wine and the candied kumquats were delicious and easy to make. Really an elegant dish with a well balanced red wine sauce and sweet-tart candied kumquats, that both complement the duck very well. This recipe is definitely a keeper and the flavors are so appropriate for the season.




To see how much the other members of the French Fridays with Dorie group enjoyed this recipe, please go here.

For copyright reasons, we do not publish the recipes from the book. But you can find the recipe for the “ Pan-seared Duck Breasts with Kumquats“ on pages 232- 233 in Dorie Greenspan´s cookbook "Around my French Table".

48 comments:

  1. Just gorgeous and I totally agree that the recipe is amazing (though I used clementines)!

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    1. Katie, thank you very much - I believe that the fact that so many of us had trouble finding kumquats might be that they are not quite in season yet - around here they are a winter citrus fruit and will hit the markets only later this year. When they are is season, we get really nice ones from Israel - the ones I used were from South Africa - a long route to travel for such a tiny fruit...I usually prefre more seasonal ingredients for my cooking but the recipe is amazing indeed.

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  2. You hit the jackpot with your shoestring potatoes, Andrea. Aspen's five-star Little Nell Hotel has a very hotsy-totsy restaurant called Element 47. I was there during my birthday week and ordered Duck Fat Fries (très cher). They were fabulous and I had to share them with 3 other people. (Not fair.) Who had ever heard of using duck fat for french fries. You had, I guess. Your photos of that beautiful plate are wonderful, as usual. And your duck, just the pink tone that I like also. Nice job.

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    1. Mary, well, those duck fries were just calling my name...I do not prepare duck that often but when I do, I always keep the fat and fry up some lovely shoestring fries with them - I think the kids could eat them almost every day, they were totally crazy about the fries and Dorie´s amazing pan-seared duck breasts. Travelling to Belgium a lot, I read a lot about making the perfect fries and during my "research" I came across the recipe for these. Too bad you had to share them with 3 other people but how wonderful to read that we share the same taste, dear friend!

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  3. Andrea, Gorgeous presentation and photos! Looking at them makes me crave that duck again!! Lovely job! Happy friday!!

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    1. Kathy, thank you very much - I think this is one of the recipes from Around my French Table that we could all agree on - a wonderful way to indulge in duck meat.

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  4. I love duck fat frites - they must have been perfect dipped into the kumquat and wine sauce. Beautiful job Andrea.

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    1. Adriana, thanks, duck fries are the best fries you can make - no doubt about that - the only qualms we had about them was that there were not enough to satisfy everyones cravings for them.

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  5. This is beautiful, Andrea.
    If I were out, I'd order this dish immediately! xx
    Happy Saturday! xx

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    1. Kim, thank you my dear - and I would gladly cook a dinner just like this for you!

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    2. Okay,
      I shall be waiting, dear! mmm.
      btw, why were u in the hospital? Love and hugs from MN. xxx

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    3. Oh, just a "repair" job of the big surgery from January - all seems to be well now - there was something wrong with my stomach - thank you for asking though! I appreciate your concern, dear friend!

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  6. Looks delicious Andrea and I love the idea of the fries with the duck fat, brilliant!

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    1. Chris, thank you kindly - hope you are having a smashing time in the UK! Have a great time with your family/grandchildren and enjoy your stay to the max!

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  7. My kumquats were from South Africa too! And yes, this was a winner!

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  8. Oooh, duck fat fries, yum! My mouth is watering just reading about it.

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    1. Rose, duck fat shoestring fries are the very best - no doubt about it!

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  9. Hi Andrea, what a first class meal you have created, love that this is sweet, savory and crunchy all at once!

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    1. Cheri, thank you very much for your comment - sweet and savory are wonderfully combined in this recipe!

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  10. This looks incredible - and I happen to have some duck breasts in the freezer and some ripe kumquats on our tree! Sunday supper just got decided!

    Hope you have a wonderful Sunday, dear friend! ~ David

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    1. David, I had to use frozen duck breasts as well - they are widely available at this time of year and they turned out wonderful - I wil go shopping for some more this week as I got requests for "seconds" of this recipe!

      Liebe Grüsse nach Tuscon und noch einen schönen Sonntag,
      Andrea

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  11. Those photos are gorgeous, and the fries look so delicious with the duck. This was a lovely recipe to prepare, not too
    difficult and one that I will be repeating.

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    1. Nana, this was indeed an relatively easy to prepare, although at first sight I was a tad intimidated - but I am more than willing to make this again, soon! Thank you so much for your kind comment,
      Andrea

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  12. What a perfect meal, Andrea! I loved the candied citrus, though I had to substitute clementines since it's a little too early for kumquats. My favorite part of your meal is the duck fat fries! There's a little restaurant I love in Portland Maine called Duckfat. They fry their potatoes TWICE in duckfat, and they are the best fries I've ever had. Hope you have a great weekend, my friend.

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    1. Betsy, love the name of that Restauarnt "Duckfat" sounds rather appropriate for a place that serves the bets fries ever - oh, I think it is time that I get around in this world a bit more again - thank you very much for your wonderful comment!

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  13. Oh my Andrea! the duck and kumquats look great but the shoestring potatoes? Awesome!

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    1. Guyla, I appreciate your kind comment - thank you!

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  14. Those candied kumquats look amazing! Those shoestring potatoes are pretty impressive too. I'm sorry it's atken me so long to visit you, I've just been swamped with work and kids and now I'm sick with these cold temps we are having, I hope you've been well and the girls are doing well too. xx

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    1. Nazneen, thank you very much - do not worry about those comments - it is índeed a very busy time of year for all of us - hope all us well with you and the kids!

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  15. I am learning a lot about duck fat from this recipe. Many of you save the fat for other purposes. Fried potatoes sound good to me. I am glad that you were able to find kumquats. We enjoyed our orange version.

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    1. Diane, duck fat is good for a lot of things - especially for those tenny tiny fries - kumquats are not really in season yet but I found a few from South Africa that were nice - thank you for your comment!

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  16. I would pay for this lovely dish, no question. Can't wait to prepare duck in the next week or two.

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    1. Peggy, I just stocked up on some more duck breasts this morning and look forward to preparing them during the upcoming holidays.

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  17. Das schaut einfach wunderbar aus, Andrea!
    Ich finde es auch viel besser Entenbrust statt einer ganzen Ente zu verwenden, schmeckt köstlich und sieht viel hübscher aus.
    Vielen Dank für diese tolle kulinarische Inspiration!
    Liebe Grüße

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    1. Liebe Daniela, Entenbrust ist so viel unkomplizierter zuzubereiten als eine ganze Ente, da gebe ich dir vollkommen recht! Und so viel fotogener auch - Dorie´s Sauce mit den kandierten Kumquats war auch neu für uns, normalerweise giebt es ja Orangen dazu - es hat uns ausgezeichnet geschmeckt, muss ich sagen.
      Lieben Dank für deinen netten Kommentar - ich hoffe, ihr hattet eine ereignisreiche und schöne Zeit in Kolumbien!
      Andrea

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  18. Looking at those beautiful fries makes me even sadder than my duck fat went down the drain :-(
    Your whole meal is gorgeous!

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    1. Cher, there will always be a next time that will provide an ample opportunity to keep that rendered and filtered duck fat, I am sure - be that as it may, it is definitely worth saving, as it is not only wonderful when making crispy fried potatoes, richly flavored sautéed vegetables, but also for duck confit and more.

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  19. A beautiful job. The duck looks delicious. Lovely presentation.

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    1. Geraldine, thank you - these kinds of dishes remind me that duck meat should certainly be more than just an occasional treat.

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  20. Duck is one of my favourite meats, I've never paired it with kumquats before but it think it will make a delicious combination of flavours. Just wish I can bite into this right now.

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    1. Trishie, same here, I had never paired duck with kumquats before cooking Dorie´s recipe. I usually take the orange route, but we were all more than pleasantly surprised at how wonderful this tasted.

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  21. This was good, wasn't it. Lucky you to find the kumquats - no such luck here.

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    1. Gaye, kumquats are not really in season yet - they are a definite winter citrus - and orange is just as lovely in this dish. It took quite a while before I could locate those elusive kumquats too but in the end it seems to have been worth my while as the dish was delicious.

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    1. Thank you kindly, Jayanthi - and thanks also for visiting my blog!

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  23. This is a restaurant-worthy dish you've made - it looks fantastic! I always want to use kumquats, but am never quite sure what to do with them. They look so good paired with the duck.

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    1. Amy, thanks so much - some of Dorie´s recipes are just extraordinary and so very photogenic and it is a joy putting them together - and even nicer when everyone really enjoys tasting them! Kumquats paired with duck had never occurred to me before I came across this recipe and it was utterly delicious.

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