Grilled Duck Breast with Wild Rice and Tasso Dressing
There are several tips in the recipes for this dish to save you time on the day you plan to serve it. The dressing may be made a day ahead. The sweet potato hay strings may be sliced ahead of time and stored in cold water in the refrigerator. The green beans can rest a while before being heated at the last minute in a little butter. Take advantage of these tips the chef supplies, and this lovely dish of rare grilled duck slices fanned before smoky wild rice and tasso dressing with a wild garnish of sweet potato hay can almost be assembled last-minute. Tasso, by the way, is a Louisiana cured ham which is very very smoky and spicy; a little goes a long way.
- Wild Rice with Tasso Dressing
- Wild Rice - 1/2 pound, cooked (4 cups when cooked)
- Unsalted Butter - 4 ounces (1 stick)
- Green Bell Pepper - 1/4, chopped
- Onion - 1 medium, chopped
- Celery Stalk - 1-1/2, chopped
- Tasso (smoked ham) - 1 cup, finely chopped
- Duck Livers (reserved from ducks below) - 1/4 cup, finely chopped
- Fresh mushrooms - 2 cups, chopped
- Canned Stewed Tomatoes - 1/2 cup, drained and chopped
- Chicken Stock (see Basics) - 1 cup
- Salt, pepper, and Tabasco or other hot pepper sauce to taste
- Thyme - 1/4 teaspoon
- Garlic Clove - 1, minced
- Green Beans
- Haricots Verts or small snap beans - 1 pound
- Butter - 2 tablespoons
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Ducks - two, 5 pound, rinsed and dried, livers reserved
- Olive Oil - 1/2 cup
- Dijon mustard - 4 tablespoons
- Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- Powdered garlic - 1 teaspoon
- Fresh Thyme Leaves - 1 teaspoon, chopped
- Sweet Potato Hay
- Sweet Potato - 1 large, peeled
- Peanut oil - for frying
- Green onion tops - 4, chopped
- Parsley - 1/4 bunch, chopped
- Duck Demi-glace (see Basics) - 1/2 cup
To prepare the rice: Wash the wild rice in a wire strainer to remove any foreign material. Follow product directions to cook until the rice is tender but not mushy, about 45 minutes. Drain very well. Melt the butter in a saute pan or skillet over medium heat and saute the peppers, onions, and celery for 4 to 5 minutes, until softened. Add the tasso and livers and continue cooking until the liver is cooked through and incorporated into the mixture. Add the mushrooms and saute for 2 more minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for 1 minute. Add the cooked wild rice. The mixture may be made ahead to this point, and refrigerated until just before serving. When ready to serve, stir in warmed chicken broth, a little at a time, until a preferred consistency is reached. If the dressing mixture was refrigerated earlier, heat in the broth. Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, and Tabasco. Stir in the garlic and thyme.
To prepare the beans: Clean the beans. Bring a large saucepan of water to a rolling boil and place the beans in the water. Let it return to a full boil, and cook for 45 seconds; remove from heat and drain. Plunge the beans into ice water to stop the cooking and preserve the color. Let cool; drain. When ready to serve, melt the butter in a medium saute pan or skillet and toss the beans in the butter until heated. Season with salt and pepper.
To prepare the duck: Debone the ducks by cutting along both sides of the breast bone. Using the bones as a guide, continue slicing down on each side until the breast is free and the hip joint is exposed (the breast will still be attached by the skin). Pop the leg bone from the hip joint. Cut the entire side of the duck from the carcass. Slice the breast away from the thigh quarter, which may be used for another purpose; the bones may be used for stock (see Basics). Remove the skin from the breast. Coat each duck breast, skin-side up, with olive oil, mustard, salt, pepper, and garlic. Sprinkle with thyme leaves.
Preheat a charcoal or gas grill to high heat. Preheat the oven to 275 F. Grill the breasts seasoned-side down for about 2 minutes. Turn and grill on the other side for 1 minute for rare. Remove from heat. Let stand for two minutes. Thinly slice the breasts on the diagonal. Arrange on four heatproof plates, fanning across the fronts of the plates. Place in the oven for 2 - 3 minutes, to desired degree of doneness.
To make the sweet potato hay: Using a vegetable slicer, mandoline, or spiral slicer, cut the potato into very very thin strings and place in cold water to cover. They may be covered and stored in the refrigerator for several days this way before using. When ready to serve, heat the oil to 375 F in a deep-fat fryer or deep saucepan. Pat the potatoes very dry with towels. Drop a small handful of potatoes into the hot fat; do not crowd. Fry for 1 to 1-1/2 minutes, until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon or wire lifter and drain on paper towels. Let the oil return to temperature before frying the next batch. Repeat until all potato strings are fried. Salt lightly.
To serve: Remove the plated duck from the oven. Add wild rice and tasso dressing at the center of the fanned slices. Place green beans over this. Top with the sweet potato hay. Drizzle with demi-glace.