Pan Seared Duck Breast with Elderberry Gastrique was created by Forrest Mason of the Saucy Spork, and just in time for the Holidays! This recipe has incredible flavor and WOW factor and couldn’t be easier to make.
2 8 oz. duck breasts
2 tbsp. Norm’s Farms Elderberry Jam
½ cup red wine vinegar
1 sprig fresh thyme
1. Begin by placing the duck breasts in the freezer for 20 – 30 minutes. This will allow the thick layer of fat to firm up, making it easier to score the fat in step 3.
2. In a small saucepot over medium-low heat, melt two tablespoons of Norm’s Farms Elderberry Jam into ½ cup of red wine vinegar. Use a fork or whisk to thoroughly combine the jam and vinegar to create a syrup. Season with a pinch or two of salt and ground black pepper. Add the sprig of thyme and allow the liquid to reduce and thicken slightly for 10 minutes. Remove the thyme from the pot and discard it. Turn off the heat and set aside on the stove.
3. Remove the duck breasts from the freezer and place on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, lightly score the fat of the duck by making shallow cuts approximately ¼ inch apart. Be careful not to cut all the way through to the meat. Next make another series of shallow cuts perpendicular to the first ones to create a cross-stitch pattern. Doing this will allow the fat to render fast enough so that the skin will be crispy and delicious without over-cooking the meat. Duck is best served medium-rare to medium.
4. Place a medium sauté pan or skillet over medium heat and allow it to pre-heat for two minutes. It is best if the skillet is just large enough to fit both duck breasts. Season the skin-side of the duck breasts with salt and pepper and place skin-side down into the skillet. It is not necessary to add oil to the pan first as the duck fat will begin rendering down immediately. Season the bottom of the duck breasts with salt and pepper. Allow the breasts to cook and the fat to render in the pan over medium heat for 10-12 minutes or until the skin is a deep golden brown and crispy.
5. Flip the duck breasts and allow them to cook for only one to two minutes on the other side. Remove from the heat and let rest for five minutes on a cutting board. While the meat is resting, gently reheat the gastrique over low heat.