Serious Eats: Recipes

Dinner Tonight: Seared Duck Breast with Red Wine and Figs

[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

I have a seriously soft spot for Creole cuisine, which is unfortunately completely underrepresented in this column. Most recipes require long simmers and dozens of ingredients, a fact that is even more pronounced as I flip through John Besh's gorgeous new cookbook, My New Orleans. I can't wait to attack most of these recipes, but I'll need a lazy weekend day to do so. Most are hardly adaptable to cooking something in an hour unless you have an impressive sous chef at your side.

Except this one. Of course, if you were doing everything right you'd shoot the duck yourself. Me, I just went to a local Asian market and scored one that were already dead. The duck breasts are quickly sautéed skin-side down until they are crispy, and then they are roasted in an oven for five minutes until the meat is medium rare. The sauce is a luscious combination of fig preserves and wine that comes out thick but not too sweet. This feels oddly rustic and refined all at the same time.

About the author: Nick Kindelsperger is a freelance writer in Chicago and the co-founder of The Paupered Chef.

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