One of my very best presents this year did not come in a box under the tree, wrapped in pretty paper and tied with a bow. It arrived instead, by plane, from Seattle. My aunt, uncle and cousin came to stay for the holidays! Not only did this mean excellent company, it meant that once I finished my marathon baking extravaganza, I barely cooked a thing for the rest of December. Better still, the food was delicious. Because Ryan doesn't eat red meat, he had a special Christmas dinner, duck breast with a soy balsamic glaze. The rest of us were begging for scraps around the cutting board and once we'd tasted our quarry we insisted that the duck make another dinner appearance. Luckily my husband is very easily convinced to eat the same thing two nights in a row when it's something he really loves.
DUCK BREAST WITH SOY BALSAMIC GLAZE
recipe from Uncle John
for 2 people
1 duck breast - we buy D'Artagnan brand, preferably the Moulard, but the Muscovy will work as well, it will just give off more fat.
1/3 C soy sauce - if you want to make this gluten-free, please be sure you use a gluten-free soy sauce.
1/3 C balsamic vinegar
Fat side up, score the duck breast by making diagonal cuts in the fat (you can see this in the picture above). Make sure you do not cut deeper than the fat. On your stovetop, heat a stainless steel or cast iron pan to medium. Once hot, place the duck in the pan, fat side down. It should sizzle, if it does not, the pan is not yet hot, so remove the breast and return it once hot. Cook for 6-8 minutes until the fat side is browned and tasty looking as shown above. Then flip the breast and cook another 3-5 minutes or until the duck reaches an internal temperature of about 110 F. You will be letting the duck rest under foil for 10 minutes or so and it should come up to 120. Slice the duck and drizzle the glaze over the slices.
For the glaze:
In a shallow pan, combine the soy and balsamic. Heat on medium-low until it reduces and becomes syrupy in consistency.