Duck Breast, Oyster Mushrooms, Black Rice and Pea Shots With Duck Au Jus

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Ingredients

  • 2 Large Duck Breasts
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter
  • 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup Black Rice
  • 2 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 Package Oyster Mushrooms
  • 1 Shallot
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • ½ Teaspoon Chopped Ginger
  • Few Sprigs Thyme (Thyme with flowers make a nice garnish)
  • Handful Pea shoots 
  • Slice of Orange for Garnish
  • Splash of Cream
  • ¼ Cup of Red Wine
  • Splash Sherry Vinegar
  • Teaspoon Honey
  • Teaspoon Better Than Bouillon Beef

Dry Rub (Tablespoon Each)

Garlic, Onion, Cumin, Salt, White Pepper, Hungarian Paprika, Umami Powder, Brown Sugar,

Pinch of Cayenne for some depth of flavor

Directions

This was my first crack at cooking duck breast.  The key to success here is to start with a cold pan and cook at a medium to low heat skin side down and let the fat render, while occasionally removing fat from pan and returning breast to pan to crisp low and slow (you’ll want to strain that fat and save for future use, duck fat is a great by-product of this recipe).  This will also ensure you don’t overcook the duck meat.

I was able to obtain locally raised duck from a local restaurant supply.  They started to do residential delivery at the start of the pandemic.  At least that was one nice thing to come out of this. 

Start your black rice as it typically takes longer to cook than traditional white rice.  Use 1 cup rice to 2 cups stock.

Make the rub by combining rub ingredients into a spice grinder to blend into a powder.  I like to use a spice grinder for all my rubs.  The fine powder helps the rub penetrate the meat providing better flavor.

Trim any excess fat/trim from the duck breast (I save it and throw into the food processor with some of the rub and make duck burgers to have later on)  It’s a good idea to salt breast and let them sit in fridge for a few hours.  This will help to dry the skin out and aide in getting the crispy skin you are looking for.  Make diagonal slices about ¼ inch apart penetrating the skin but not slicing into the meat.  Then you’ll want to dry rub your duck breast and place in cold pan with a tablespoon of olive oil skin side down with a low to medium heat and let it render and cook slowly occasionally removing excess liquid duck fat.  After about 15 minutes you’ll want to flip over and brown the other side until the internal temperature of the duck reaches about 135 degrees, and the skin is crispy.  This will yield a nice medium-rare

For the mushrooms I used oyster.  They are mild, slightly chewy, with a nutty flavor and work well with duck.  Feel free to substitute whatever you find freshest.  Shitake and trumpets would work well too!

I simply chop some shallots and garlic and sauté with some fresh hardier herbs (I like thyme).  These tasty mushrooms do not need much to make them great.  I finish with a little stock then reduce.  Once complete, a dollop of truffle butter can really take it to another level. 

To make pan sauce (duck au jus) remove any excess fat form pan.  Toss in some shallot, garlic, ginger and sauté till aromatic.  I then add about half a teaspoon of a veal demi or Better Than Bullion beef stock.  I always have various types of this on hand.  It’s the home cooks secret weapon.  I then add some fresh herbs and deglaze with some red wine. Add two tablespoons of butter and whisk, this will cut some of the acidity.  A squeeze of fresh orange juice will add a hint of sweetness. Then add a splash of sherry vinegar and teaspoon of honey.  Once fully reduced finish with a touch of truffle butter or regular butter and a splash of heavy cream.  Season to taste.

Let duck cool for 5-10 minutes…

Now you are ready to plate…. Spoon sauce on the plate.  Slice breast on a bias at about ¼ inch and lay 5-6 slices with skin on top of the duck au jus.  Spoon the black rice and mushrooms next to it, and place orange slice and pea shoots on the plate as well.  I spoon a little more au jus on the duck and rice and top duck with some flowered thyme. 

Hope you enjoy.  Let me know how this recipe works for you…

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