Pan-Seared Duck Breast with Blueberry-Plum Sauce and Bacon-Garlic Spinach
When I think about eating duck I immediately think back to my time living in Beijing. Peking Roast Duck (北京烤鸭) is a dish that Beijing is famous for. Traditionally, the duck is served with small pancakes (almost like mini crepes) that you wrap the duck in with spring onions, cucumber sticks, and hoisin sauce.
Duck breast is much easier to tackle than roasting a whole duck and is still full of flavor. Duck breast can be found in most Asian markets and upscale grocery store. I found mine at Wegmans (I could spend hours in that store). The plum sauce that is added in this recipe can be found in any grocery store in the asian foods section. It normally comes in a small jar and is a thick syrupy sauce. Since the blueberry-plum sauce reduces to a thick sauce that is very sweet, I decided to serve something salty and savory alongside the duck. This bacon-garlic spinach has a nice smoky flavor to it with just a hint of tartness since I added 2 tablespoons of diced dried cranberries. We drank this with a Pinot Noir which paired great with the richness of this dish.
- 1 large Duck Breast
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon plum sauce
- Fresh cracked pepper
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 tablespoons olive oil for the marinade (additional olive oil to sauté)
- 3/4 cup fresh Blueberries
- 1/2 yellow onion (large chunks)
- 1 cup fresh Blueberries
- 3 tablespoons plum sauce
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 1/2 cup red wine
- 5 cups fresh baby spinach
- 1/2 yellow onion finely chopped
- 3 strips bacon, chopped
- 3-4 large cloves of garlic minced
- 3 tablespoons dried cranberries finely chopped
- Fresh cracked black pepper
- Good olive oil
Preparing the Blueberry-Plum Sauce: I think its best to prepare the blueberry-plum sauce first because it can sit on the stove simmering as you prepare the duck breast and sauté the spinach. All you need to do is add the blueberries, plum sauce, red wine, and soy sauce to a small sauce pan. Sip some pinot noir as you bring the sauce up to a boil. Once the sauce has reached a boil, stir and allow it to simmer while you prepare the rest of the meal. Very easy. Sip some more pinot and move on to the duck breast!
Preparing the Duck Breast: Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl mix the rosemary, cinnamon, plum sauce, black pepper, sea salt and olive oil. Coat the duck breast in this marinade and allow it to sit for 3 minutes as you heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat.
Once the pan is hot add the olive oil and sauté the duck breast on each side until you see a golden brown (about 5 minutes per side). While the duck breast sautés place the yellow onion chunks and blueberries in the bottom of an oven proof glass dish. Once the duck breast is done sautéing transfer the duck to the glass dish and place on top of the blueberries and onions. Allow the duck to finish cooking in the oven (about 10 minutes).
Sauté the Bacon-Garlic Spinach: Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot add olive oil, followed by the bacon and onion. Sauté until the onions are translucent and the bacon is almost completely cooked through (about 4-5 minutes). Add the garlic and spinach. Remember the spinach will shrink as it cooks so if it looks like you are about to feed the Polish army with all the spinach in your kitchen, take a sip of wine and allow the spinach to sauté. With a wooden spoon be sure to combine the spinach with the onions and bacon. Sauté for about 4 minutes and spinach and add the fresh cracked black pepper and the chopped dried cranberries. Sip some pinot, stir once more and the spinach should be done!
Ready to serve: Remove the duck breast from the oven and allow it to sit for 3-5 minutes before slicing. Slice the duck breast into small medallions. Pile the spinach on each plate and top with the duck breast medallions. On top of the spoon a generous portion of the blueberry plum sauce and if desired serve extra sauce on the side of the plate. Sip some pinot and serve your duck! Cheers!