Here are the thoughts which are buzzing around in my head about this recipe: First, use this duck as an excuse to open a nice bottle of Pinot Noir or French Burgundy. Next, save the duck fat as it is good for everything, stir it into mashed potatoes, fry bread in it or save it for your next risotto. Lastly, be careful not to overcook the duck breast, but at the same time do thoroughly render the fat. Bon Appetit!
Oh, and if you make this, take a picture will you? I was feeling a lack of photography muse on this particular occasion.
Duck Breast with Ginger, Red Wine and Plum Sauce(serves 2)
With a very sharp knife score the fat on the duck breast. This will allow the fat to render, brown and cook evenly. You want to score it almost all the way to the meat, but not quite. Score the fat in a checkerboard pattern about 3/4" wide.
In a well seasoned pan place the breasts fat side down and THEN turn the pan on to low-medium heat. Slowly let the fat render, pouring it off as it gets deep (don't toss it, is has lots of great uses)! Ideally the skin will brown at the same rate as the fat renders, taking about 10-15 minutes. If it isn't starting to brown after ten minutes increase the heat slightly.
While the duck is cooking, prep the plum, by removing the skin and pits and slicing into eighths.
When the fat side is thoroughly browned and the fat is rendered, flip and cook for another 5 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 135F (for medium rare). Remove to a plate and gently tent with aluminum foil.
Remove all but a teaspoon of duck fat from the pan and add the shallots and ginger, turn the heat up to medium high and stir until soft. Add the plums and saute for 2 minutes then add the pinot noir. Simmer for 2 minutes until plums have begun to soften. Remove from heat and whisk in the cold butter.
Slice the duck and serve on top of the sauce, fat side up.