Duck and Figs in Port Sauce

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For this I used Trader Joes frozen figs – they are whole frozen figs and they are perfect for this dish. This was inspired by Patricia Wells, I did not have creme de cassis so I used port instead. This recipe can be easily doubled.

Ingredients:
8 figs
1 duck breast
Salt
1/4 c balsamic vinegar
1/2 c port

Stem figs and make an X shape incision into each fig about 1/2 way through the figs.

Make 10 diagonal incisions in the duck skin being careful not to cut through, then repeat to make a criss cross pattern.

Place the figs in a small pan, cover with vinegar and port. Cook over medium heat until it comes to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.

Heat a dry cast iron skillet over high heat. Add the duck skin side down, reduce heat to medium and cook for about 3 minutes until the skin is crispy. Flip over, cover and cook for 10 minutes for medium rare.

Remove from heat and let rest for 10 minutes. Pour juices from pan into fig sauce.

Slice duck thin, serve with figs and drizzle with sauce.

Serves 2.

Honey Balsamic Duck Breast

Duck seems like a fancy schmancy restaurant fare but really it’s easy peasy home cookin. This recipe is a great intro to cooking duck. I cook duck breasts in a deep stock pot to cut down on the duck fat splatter clean-up. Break out your best balsamic for this recipe. The beauty of duck breast is it takes less than 20 minutes, so it is great for a weeknight or busy weekend.

Ingredients:
1 muscovy duck breast (about 10 – 12 oz)
2 TBSP lime juice
2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
2 TBSP honey
Salt and pepper

Using a sharp knife, cut a crosshatch pattern into the duck fat, you want the depth of your cut to be just shy of the meat. When done you should have a diamond patter about 1/4 inch wide. Salt and pepper the duck on both sides.

Heat your pan over medium high heat until hot. Add duck skin side down and cook for 9 minutes until crispy and brown. Turn over and cook 3 more minutes. Remove to a cutting board and tent with foil.

Pour off all but 2 tsp fat, heat over medium high heat and stir in lime juice, balsamic and honey. Cook for about 2 minutes until reduced by 1/2 and remove from heat.

Thinly slice duck and drizzle with sauce.

Serves 2. This recipe is easily doubled.