This is a recipe I have been making for almost 30 years.
It has been a while though and I had forgot just
how good it is.
DUCK BREAST WITH FIGS AND PORT
Adapted from a Bon Appetit Recipes
2 large duck breast halves, boned
1 minced garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or dried, crumbled
Freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1-3/4 pounds chicken backs or wings
1 onion, quartered
1 cup beef stock or canned unsalted broth
1 cup chicken stock or canned low-salt broth
3 tablespoons butter
1 shallot, minced
1/2 cup Port
6 dried Calimyrna figs, stemmed and quartered (or dry fig of your
3/4 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried, crumbled
Remove excess fat from duck breasts. and cut crisscross pattern
into fat but do not cut into meat.
Brush breasts with oil; rub with minced garlic and sprinkle with
1/2 teaspoon thyme and pepper. Cover and let stand 1 hour. (Can be
prepared 1 day ahead. Refrigerate.)
Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add
duck bones, chicken backs and onion and cook until brown, turning
occasionally, about 12 minutes. Add both stocks. Bring to boil.
Reduce heat and simmer until reduced to 3/4 cup liquid, about 1
hour. Strain and degrease duck stock. (Can be prepared 1 day
ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
Heat oven to 450°.
Season duck breasts with salt;
Heat a grill pan. When hot, add breast skin side down and cook 4
minutes. Turn and place grill pan into hot oven for about 3 to 5
minutes. Duck should be medium rare.
Pour off fat from skillet. Add 1 tablespoon butter to skillet and
melt over medium heat. Add shallot and sauté until translucent,
about 2 minutes. Add Port and figs. Increase heat and boil until
liquid is reduced to glaze, scraping up any browned bits, about 4
minutes. Add duck stock and boil until syrupy, adding any juices
accumulated on duck platter, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and
whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons butter 1 tablespoon at a time.
Season with salt and pepper.
Thinly slice duck on diagonal. Arrange on plates. Spoon sauce
over. Sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon thyme.