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Breast of Duck with Citrus Sauce and Mixed Fruit Chutney
Chef/Restaurateur Charlie Palmer, Aureole-New York, NY
Adapted by StarChefs

Yield: 6 servings

This is, for sure, a "company's coming" kind of dish. If it was just the family, I'd probably marinate the duck breasts in a rich red wine or citrus marinade and throw them on the grill. But every-once-in-awhile, I like to "cook fancy" for guests on my night off from the restaurant. And, actually, since the chutney can be prepared a week or two ahead of time and the sauce a day or two in advance, I have very little to do at party time. I often serve this dish with some cinnamon-scented couscous or mashed sweet potatoes along with my favorite Sautéed Greens on the side. --CP

  • 2 pounds duck bones
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup carrots, hopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup shallots, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 Tablespoons Cointreau (or other orange-flavored liqueur)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 large boneless duck breasts, skin on
  • 1 teaspoon fresh chives, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest, freshly grated
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • Mixed Fruit Chutney, see recipe below

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Cut the bones into 2-inch pieces. Place them in a small roasting pan in the preheated oven and roast, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until well-browned. Remove the bones from the pan and place them in a large sauce pot. Deglaze the roasting pan while it is still hot, by adding 1/2 cup wine. Stir constantly, scraping the bottom to release any flavorful browned bits and the wine has almost evaporated. Scrape the pan remains into the large sauce pot with the roasted bones.

Add the carrots, celery, shallots, parsley, ginger and bay leaves and sauté for 4 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup of wine and the Cointreau and bring to a boil. Add the chicken broth and orange juice along with salt and pepper to taste and again bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 40 minutes or until the liquid has reduced to 1-1/2 cups. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve into a small saucepan, discarding the solids.

Score the skin of the duck breasts into a cross-hatch pattern, cutting down into the fat, but not through the skin. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Heat a large heavy-bottomed sauté pan over medium heat. When very hot, but not smoking, add the duck breasts, skin side down. Cook, draining off excess fat from time to time, for 14 minutes or until most of the fat is rendered out and the skin is nicely browned and crisp. You may have to turn down the heat to keep the skin from burning. Turn and cook for an additional 3 minutes or until the meat is cooked to medium (155°F on an instant-read thermometer) and still moist in the center.

Just before the duck is ready, place the sauce over medium heat. Add the chives and orange zest and bring to a simmer. Whisk in the butter until well incorporated. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Lower heat enough to just keep the sauce warm.

Using a very sharp knife, cut the duck breasts, on the bias, into thin slices. Fan each breast, if desired, over cous cous or mashed sweet potatoes, with the sauce spooned over the top. Garnish the duck with a scoop of Mixed Fruit Chutney.

Mixed Fruit Chutney

Yield: about 3-1/2 cups

  • 2 cups diced mixed dried fruit (such as apples, pears, mangoes,
  • peaches, cherries, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar or to taste (See Note)
  • 1/4 cup sugar or to taste (See Note)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh green chili, minced
  • 1/4 cup yellow raisins
  • 1 Tablespoon crystallized ginger, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander

Place the dried fruit in a heat-proof container and cover with boiling water by 2-inches. Allow to sit for 1 hour or until the fruit is nicely plumped. Drain well.

Combine the vinegar, orange juice, sugars, lemon, orange, onion, garlic, ginger and chili in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Boil, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes or until the sugars have dissolved. Stir in the reserved dried fruit, raisins, crystallized ginger, cinnamon and coriander and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and just barely simmer, stirring frequently, for 20 minutes or until the mixture is quite thick.

Remove from the heat and pour into a non-reactive container. Allow the chutney to come to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 months.

NOTE: The amount of sugar(s) required will depend upon the tartness of the dried fruit. About half way through the cooking time, taste the chutney. If it seems too tart, add a bit more sugar.