DUCK BREASTS AGRODOLCE
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Makes 4 servings
· 1 cup polenta
· Salt and black pepper
· Olive oil
· 4 White Pekin duck breast halves (6 ounces each)
· 1/4 cup golden raisins
· 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
· 1 tablespoon sugar
· 1 cup peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes*
· 2 tablespoons tomato paste
· 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted**
1) In saucepan over medium heat, simmer polenta and 3 cups water, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes or until polenta thickens. Season with salt and pepper. Brush an 8-inch cake pan with oil; spread polenta in pan and smooth with spatula. Refrigerate, covered, about 2 hours or until firm. (May be done up to 1 day ahead.) When completely cold and firm, unmold and cut into 8 wedges. Place on baking sheet; brush tops of wedges lightly with oil.
2) Heat oven to 425°F. With sharp knife, score skin side of duck breasts in a series of parallel cuts 3/4 inch apart, without cutting into meat. Make a second series of parallel cuts perpendicular to the first to form crosshatch pattern. Season breasts with salt and pepper. Place breasts skin side down in heavy nonstick skillet large enough to hold them comfortably in one layer; do not crowd. Cook over medium heat about 8 minutes or until fat runs out and skin is golden-brown and crisp. (Some breasts may brown more quickly than others; remove each breast as it is done.) Transfer breasts to baking dish or another skillet, skin side down, and finish cooking in oven about 8 minutes for rare, 10 minutes for medium-rare and 12 minutes for medium, turning breasts onto flesh side after 6 minutes. Let breasts rest 3 to 4 minutes before slicing.
3) While breasts are in oven, pour off fat from skillet breasts were browned in. Add raisins, vinegar and sugar to skillet; simmer over medium heat until syrupy. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, 1/4 cup water and pine nuts; simmer for about 5 minutes or until tomatoes have reduced to a sauce-like consistency. Keep warm over low heat.
4) Brown polenta wedges under preheated broiler about 4 inches from heating element. Place 2 wedges, slightly overlapping, on each of 4 plates. Cut each breast crosswise on a slight angle into 4 to 5 slices about 1/2-inch thick; fan 1 breast on each plate next to polenta. Spoon sauce over breasts and polenta, dividing it equally.
*Tip: To peel tomatoes, cut an X in skin and drop into boiling water about 30 seconds or until skin peels off easily; remove tomatoes from water and cool in a bowl of ice water. Peel, cut in half crosswise and gently squeeze out seeds and discard; chop flesh. When fresh tomatoes are out of season, substitute 1 cup canned chopped tomatoes; omit tomato paste. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes only.
**Tip: Toast pine nuts in 300°F oven for 10 minutes or until golden.
Nutrition Information Per Serving:
456 calories; 12 g fat; 131 mg cholesterol; 260 mg sodium; 48 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 39 g protein
Recipe courtesy of The Duckling Council - www.duckling.org/