By Chef Ella Freyinger
This plat du jour immediately brings me to a seat at the table of Versailles. I imagine the abundance of wild game, fruits, cakes and treats. The foods of foreign lands gracing only the tables of royalty, how extravagant a pomegranate would have been to anyone not invited to attend this feast.
- 1 (5 Oz) Duck Breast
- 2 Sprigs Thyme
- 2 Tbsp. Dry Red Wine
- ¼ Cup Hearty Vegetable Stock Or Chicken Stock
- 1 Blood Orange, Zested And Juiced
- 1 Tbsp. Pomegranate Molasses
- For Garnish Pomegranate Arils
- With a sharp paring knife, gently score duck breast skin in a diamond pattern, about 1/8 inch. Being careful to not cut through to the flesh. The deeper you cut the skin, the more fat you will render. Season the duck breast with kosher salt, being more liberal on the skin side.
- Place the duck breasts, skin side down, in a room temperature cast iron skillet. Place another skillet on top of the duck to make sure all the skin is in contact with the bottom of the skillet. Turn the heat on to medium. After a few minutes the skin will begin to bubble. As the fat begins to render, pour off the excess fat every few minutes. This will make sure that the skin can achieve a beautiful golden crisp. After about 12-15 minutes and once the skin is golden brown turn the heat up to medium-high and cook another minute, browning the skin further. Turn over and cook the meat side for 1-2 minutes. If using a meat thermometer the temperature should read 130 for medium-rare, which is my personal preference.
- Remove the duck breast from the pan and allow it to rest while you make the pan sauce. Drain most of the fat from the skillet, leaving a small amount in the pan. Add the thyme sprigs to the pan, allowing them to fry in the remaining fat for 10 seconds. Then add the red wine to the pan and stir for 30 seconds. Add the blood orange juice, chicken stock and pomegranate molasses. Let cook for 5 minutes or until reduced by half. Place the duck breast on a cutting board and cut about 1/2 inch thick slices. Arrange on a plate and top with the pan sauce. Garnish with pomegranate arils and wedges of blood orange and imagine yourself at the head of the feasting table