Saturday, January 14, 2012

Roasted Duck Breast with Sweet Potato Gnocchi, Dried Cherry Jus and Caramelized Red Onion and Spinach Compote

I can't tell you where I got this recipe but I knew it would be a winner. Made it last weekend and it is one of the best meals I have ever had. All the recipe parts are included. You can halve the recipe for 2 people. Fabulous and worth the effort!

Duck Breast:
6 cleaned duck breasts (make several slices in the skin), see note
1/4 cup olive oil
Pinch salt, pepper, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg
Marinate duck in oil and Chinese Five-Spice seasoning and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Dried Cherry Jus:
4 cups duck stock or chicken stock
4 cups veal or beef stock
2 cups diced carrots, leeks, onions and celery
1/2 cup dried cherries soaked in 1/4 cup cognac
Simmer the 8 cups of stock with the vegetables, reducing until it yields about 3 cups of liquid. Strain out the vegetables and add rough-cut cherries. Simmer down to a total of 2 cups.

Presentation: Sear duck breasts in 1 tablespoon olive oil, skin down, until golden brown and place in 350-degree even. In another pan, heat the onion-spinach compote. When the flesh of the duck is no longer pink, pull from oven, drain any fat and add sauce and gnocchi. Turn breasts over and cook for another minute or two. Remove duck, slice and fan out on a plate with a pile of gnocchi and compote. Glaze with sauce. Serves 6.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi
2 pounds sweet potatoes
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons salt
3 eggs
Bake sweet potatoes until soft. Push through a ricer into a bowl (they can also be mashed). Add flour, eggs and salt and gently mix together into a dough. Add more flour if sticky-mine was and I added four in 1/4 cup increments until the texture was right.. Cut into small balls about the size of a dime and dust with flour. Roll on a gnocchi board or in a wicker basket (they will be oblong in shape). Boil in salted water until they float, then run under cold water. Set aside.

Caramelized Red Onion and Spinach Compote

3 medium red onions
1 pound fresh cleaned spinach (stems removed)
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a saucepan, melt butter and oil over medium heat. Slice onions thinly and add to saucepan. Cook onions until caramelized, then add spinach leaves. Cook until spinach is limp and incorporated.

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