Barbecued Breast of Duck with Crushed Pepper, Plums, and Plum Wine
Thin slices of rare duck breast are served with a deep red-purple plum sauce. Crêpes, each with a scallion brush inside, are served with the duck -- perfect for sopping up the sauce.
- Galliano Liqueur - 1/2 cup
- Ground cinnamon - 1/4 cup
- Pink Peppercorns - 1/2 cup, coarsely ground
- Fresh ground black pepper - 1/4 cup
- Duck Breasts
- Long Island Duck Breasts - 8, boneless, 7 to 8 ounces each
- Peanut or Vegetable oil - 1/4 cup
- Plum Sauce
- Dark-skinned Plums - 8 large ripe, halved and pitted
- Plum Wine - 3 cups(chef recommends Takara)
- Fresh or frozen huckleberries, elderberries, or black currants - 1/2 cup
- Sugar - 1-1/4 cups
- Water - 3/4 cup
- Rice Vinegar - 2-1/2 cups, unseasoned
- All-Purpose Flour - 1/2 cup
- Milk - 1/4 cup
- Water - 1/4 cup
- Dry sake - 1 tablespoon
- Egg - 1 large
- Egg Yolk - 1
- Peanut Oil - 1-1/2 tablespoons
- Pinch of salt
- Fresh Ginger - 1 teaspoon, peeled, minced
- Green Scallion - 1 tablespoon, minced
- Red Pepper - 1/2 teaspoon (chef recommends Japanese red pepper togarashi)
- Unsalted Butter - 2 to 4 tablespoons
- Scallions - 8
To make the marinade: Pour half of the Galliano liqueur evenly over the bottom of a cookie pan or sheet pan with sides. Combine the cinnamon and peppers, divide in half, and sprinkle one-half of the spices evenly over the liqueur. Arrange the duck breasts on the pan, skin-side up. Brush the remaining liqueur over the skins of the duck breasts. Sprinkle with the remaining spice mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours.
To make the sauce: In a medium saucepan, combine the plums, plum wine, and berries and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir to prevent scorching, reduce the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Do not overcook as this will cause the fruit to lose its color. After 10 minutes, cover and remove the pot from the heat. Let the fruit remain in the pan for 30 minutes. Strain the sauce through a sieve or chinois, pressing all the fruit pulp and liquid through the sieve. Discard the skins and pits. Return the sauce to the saucepan and reserve at room temperature until needed.
In a clean, small, heavy saucepan, combine the sugar and water and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil until a light golden brown caramel color. Be careful not to overcook. If it is too dark, the sauce will be bitter and too thick. Remove the pan from the heat and reserve.
In a medium saucepot, reduce the rice vinegar over medium-high heat to one-third the original volume, or slightly less than a cup. Reheat the plum sauce to a full boil over medium-high heat and add the reduced vinegar. Slowly drizzle the hot caramel into the sauce. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 to 5 minutes, until the sauce is smooth. Strain the sauce through a fine-meshed sieve and set aside.
To make the crêpe batter: In a blender or food processor, blend the flour, milk, water, Sake, egg and egg yolk, peanut oil, and salt for 5 seconds. Turn off the motor and scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula. Blend the batter for 20 seconds more to make a perfectly smooth blend. Transfer the batter to a bowl. Stir in the ginger, scallion, and red pepper. Cover and let stand for 1 hour. The batter may be made 1 day in advance and kept covered in the refrigerator until ready to use. Bring back to room temperature before using.
To cook the crêpes: heat a 6- to 7-inch crêpe pan or non-stick skillet over medium heat until hot. Brush the pan lightly with butter and heat until the butter is hot but not smoking. Pour 1/4 cup of the crêpe batter into the center of the hot pan and tilt it in all directions to spread the batter. The batter should cover the pan with a light coating; pour out any excess. Cook about 30 seconds, until the bottom of the crêpe is lightly browned. Shake the pan by its handle to dislodge the crêpe, then turn it over with your fingers or a spatula. Cook another 15 to 20 seconds. If using immediately, heat the oven to 200 F, transfer the crêpes to a pan, and place in the oven to keep warm. If using later, transfer the crêpes to a rack. When thoroughly cooled, stack them, place in a plastic bag, and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Rewarm when needed in a single layer in a 300 F oven.
To cook the greens: Remove and discard the coarse stems from the greens. Wash the leaves thoroughly and drain well. The easiest way to chop the greens is to stack the leaves and cut crosswise, then cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch pieces. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the greens and cook about 1 to 5 minutes, or until just wilted and tender. The younger the greens, the less cooking time is required. Drain thoroughly.
To cook the duck breasts: Preheat the oven to 400. Heat a 10-inch skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking. Add 1 tablespoon of peanut oil and sear the duck breasts, skin-side down, for about 2 minutes, or until nicely browned. Turn and sear the other side another 2 minutes. Add more oil to the pan as needed. Do not crowd the pan; sear in batches if necessary. As the breasts are seared, remove to a large heavy sheet pan or cookie pan with sides.
Place the duck breasts in the oven for 12 to 16 minutes. This should result in a medium-rare duck breast. Adjust the timing to achieve the preferred doneness. Remove the breasts from the oven and let rest 5 minutes before slicing.
To make the scallion garnishes: Cut off the root ends and green tops, leaving about a 2-inch piece with the bulb attached. Make long, thin, lengthwise slits in the scallions two-thirds of the way down, leaving the strips attached at the bottom. Put in ice water until fanned open. Drain on paper towels.
To serve: Slice the duck breasts into thin slices at an angle. Pool 2 tablespoons of the plum sauce on each plate. Arrange the duck slices in the sauce. Fold the crêpes into triangles and slide a scallion brush inside each. Place a filled crêpe on each plate.