Duck breast teams with rich fruit glaze

DINNER TONIGHT

November 29, 2006|By Carol Mighton Haddix | Carol Mighton Haddix,CHICAGO TRIBUNE

Tired of chicken breast? Me too. Every now and then, it's time to switch. And now that duck breast has become a bit easier to find in the market, it's the alternative of choice.

And talk about fast. It beats chicken by 10 minutes, at least! I like to team the rich breast meat with a fruit glaze and, most times, I turn to cassis.

It reminds me of a long-ago trip through France, where my favorite entree became duck with cassis sauce at restaurant after restaurant. Cassis is a liqueur based on black currants. It's rich with berrylike flavors and lends great texture and taste to any sauce for poultry or pork. If you can't find cassis, substitute with thick blackberry or currant preserves.

Menu suggestion

Grilled duck breasts with cassis glaze over carrot salad

Vanilla yogurt cream

Grilled Duck Breasts With Cassis Glaze Over Carrot Salad

Serves 4 -- Total time: about 40 minutes

2 skinless duck breast halves

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon fruit vinegar or red-wine vinegar

1 teaspoon each: dried thyme leaves, salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon butter or olive oil

1/2 red onion, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup chicken broth

1/4 cup cassis (black-currant liqueur) or currant preserves

1 bag (8 ounces) shredded carrots

1/4 cup currants

Place duck breasts in shallow bowl. Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, thyme, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Pour half of mixture into duck bowl; coat duck with mixture. Set aside remaining oil-vinegar mixture.

Heat butter in medium skillet; add onion. Cook over high heat 2 minutes; reduce heat to low. Add garlic. Cook until onions are lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Add chicken broth; cook over medium-high heat to reduce by half. Add cassis; cook until sauce is slightly thickened, about 8 minutes. Keep warm.

Meanwhile, mix carrots and currants together in a medium bowl. Add reserved oil-vinegar mixture; toss. Set aside.

Heat a grill, grill pan or skillet. Cook duck, turning once or twice, until desired doneness, about 10 minutes for medium-rare. Remove to cutting board; let rest 5 minutes. Slice thinly on the diagonal. Divide carrot salad among 4 plates. Arrange duck over carrot salad. Drizzle cassis sauce over duck.

Per serving: 304 calories, 15 grams fat, 4 grams saturated fat, 75 milligrams cholesterol, 28 grams carbohydrate, 16 grams protein, 893 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber

Carol Mighton Haddix is food editor of the Chicago Tribune, which provided the recipe analysis.

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