Crispy Duck Breasts With Pear & Green Peppercorn Sauce

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"I love duck and like to find different ways to prepare it. I always think of duck as somehow a romantic meal. I suppose it's because my late husband and I always had a particular duck recipe on our anniversary. This sounds wonderful and has several rave reviews on epicurious. From Gourmet, November 1994."

Original recipe yields 4 servings


  • Serving Size: 1 (216.7 g)
  • Calories 253.8
  • Total Fat - 4.3 g
  • Saturated Fat - 1 g
  • Cholesterol - 243.1 mg
  • Sodium - 179.8 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 4 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 1 g
  • Sugars - 2.1 g
  • Protein - 47.2 g
  • Calcium - 21.8 mg
  • Iron - 7.8 mg
  • Vitamin C - 28 mg
  • Thiamin - 0 mg

Step 1

Trim excess fat from duck breasts.

Step 2

Heat a 12-inch heavy skillet over high heat until very hot.

Step 3

Pat breasts dry and season with salt.

Step 4

Put breasts, skin sides down, in skillet and reduce heat to moderate. Cook breasts 20 minutes, or until skin is crisp and mahogany-colored, removing fat from skillet as it is rendered with a metal bulb baster (or very carefully pouring it off).

Step 5

Turn breasts and cook about 2 minutes for medium-rare or to desired doneness.

Step 6

Transfer breasts to a plate and keep warm, covered loosely.

Step 7

While duck breasts are cooking, peel pear and cut into 1/4-inch dice.

Step 8

Pour off all but about 1 tablespoon fat from skillet and saute pear until lightly browned, about 1 minute.

Step 9

In a measuring cup stir together apple juice and cornstarch.

Step 10

To pear add Calvados or Armagnac.

Step 11

Stir in cornstarch mixture, peppercorns, demiglace or bouillon cube, and thyme and simmer, stirring, 2 minutes, or until slightly thickened.

Step 12

Serve duck breasts, sliced, with sauce spooned over them and garnish with thyme sprigs.

Tips & Variations

No special items needed.