This weekend I made duck breast with blackberry sauce from Epicurious for a special occasion. The comments section had some “wow this sauce is really challenging” comments along with “it takes much longer to reduce than the recipe says.” I didn’t really find either, the sauce was mostly pretty easy, it just involved a lot of stirring. And, true to the recipe, the sauce took about 25 minutes to reduce to about a cup of sauce, if not a tiny bit longer. This was my first time cooking duck, and I found that, at least for the thickness of the breasts I bought, the time the recipe recommended for a medium doneness was a little long, I stuck to it and got closer to medium-well.
Served it with a side of salad, a personal favorite: salad greens, thinly sliced pear, and a dijon vinaigrette – optional add-ons: goat cheese, sunflower seeds, croutons.
To drink: a bottle of Tarara Winery’s Meritage (of Leesburg,VA, which I visited this fall).
For dessert: cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcakes. These live up to the hype, they are very, very good. I don’t make it out to Georgetown too often, so I hadn’t had a chance to try these after they got a rave review in the New York Times. Well I should have known if they were good enough for Frank Bruni, they were good enough for me. Favorites so far: lava fudge, chocolate 2, and lemon blossom.
This meal was quite decadent. Even though I recently got laid off, I’d already bought all the ingredients prior to that, and I don’t think Whole Foods would take too kindly to me returning $20 of uncooked duck breasts bought on Thursday, nor Best Cellars for me returning the expensive wine I special ordered, nor Georgetown Cupcakes for returning a dozen gift-wrapped cupcakes.
So, I made the best of a not-so-great situation and cooked a fabulous meal.