Prep 0 mins
Cook 25 mins
The sauce makes this dish extra-special. I like to serve this with a warm goat-cheese salad and parsley new potatoes.
- 1 1⁄2 lbs boneless duck breasts
- 1 firm-ripe bosc pear
- 3⁄4 cup apple juice
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons calvados or 2 tablespoons armagnac (can use apple juice if you prefer)
- 1 tablespoon green peppercorn, packed in brine,drained and crushed lightly
- 1 tablespoon duck, demiglace or 1 tablespoon veal demi-glace or 1⁄2 extra-large vegetarian vegetable bouillon cube
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or 1⁄4 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
- Trim excess fat from duck breasts.
- Heat a 12-inch heavy skillet over high heat until very hot.
- Pat breasts dry and season with salt.
- Put breasts, skin sides down, in skillet and reduce heat to moderate.
- Cook breasts 20 minutes, or until skin is crisp and mahogany-colored, removing fat from skillet as it is rendered.
- Turn breasts and cook about 2 minutes for medium-rare or to desired doneness.
- Transfer breasts to a plate and keep warm, covered loosely.
- While duck breasts are cooking, peel pear and cut into 1/4-inch dice.
- Pour off all but about 1 tablespoon fat from skillet and sauté pear until lightly browned, about 1 minute.
- In a measuring cup stir together apple juice and cornstarch.
- To pear add Calvados or Armagnac.
- Stir in cornstarch mixture, peppercorns, demiglace or bouillon cube, and thyme and simmer, stirring, 2 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
- Serve duck breasts, sliced, with sauce spooned over them.