Sauteed Duck Breast with Gingered Fig Sauce, Braised Fennel, and Celeriac-Potato Timbales
Chef Engeran Fisher brings together a variety of flavors and textures in her innovative recipe. Sweet ripe figs combine with ginger and balsamic vinegar to create a piquant sauce for sauteed duck breast. The accompaniments are equally worthy, braised fennel, and a celeriac-potato timbale. The sauce would pair well with roast pork; the fennel and the timbales could appear with many entrees.
- Celeriac-Potato timbales
- Celeriac (celery root) - 1 large
- Potatoes - 3
- Eggs - 3, beaten
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1/3 cup
- Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
- Braised Baby Fennel
- Olive Oil - 1 tablespoon
- Onion - 1, chopped
- Fennel Bulbs - 3, stemmed and sliced
- Chicken or Beef Stock or broth - 1/4 cup
- Gingered Fig Sauce
- Sugar - 1/2 cup
- Water - 1/4 cup
- Red Wine Vinegar - 2 tablespoons
- Balsamic Vinegar - 2 tablespoons
- Figs - 12, ripe, cut in half
- Fresh Ginger - 1/2 teaspoon, minced
- Chicken broth - 4 cups
- Duck Breasts - 4
- Fresh figs for garnish
To prepare the timbales: Preheat the oven to 400 F. Heavily butter four 2-ounce timbale molds. Peel and chop the celeriac and the potatoes. Place in a medium saucepan with salted water to cover and cook over medium heat until tender. Drain well and mash until smooth. Add the eggs and cream and mix until blended. Season with salt and pepper. Fill the timbales and place in a baking pan. Add 1 inch of hot water to the pan and bake for 20 minutes, or until set. Set aside; keep warm.
To prepare the fennel: Reduce the oven temperature to 350 F. In a heatproof casserole or ovenproof skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat and saute the onion until translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in the fennel and pour in the stock or broth. Bake for 15 minutes. Keep warm in the turned-off oven with the timbales.
To make the sauce: In a medium, heavy saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Cook over high heat until the mixture begins turning an amber color. Pour in the vinegars and stir well so that no sugar remains on the bottom. Add the figs and ginger. Stir in the stock or broth and cook over medium heat until thickened. Puree in a blender and strain through a fine-meshed sieve. Set aside and keep warm.
In a large saute pan or skillet over high heat, cook the duck breasts, fat side down, for 2 to 3 minutes. Turn over and cook for 2 to 3 minutes to brown. Lower the heat and cook 3 to 4 more minutes for medium rare, or to taste.
To serve: Thinly slice the duck on the diagonal and fan slices on each of four warmed plates. Unmold a timbale on each plate. Arrange the fennel next to the timbales. Spoon sauce over the duck. Garnish with fresh figs.
To serve: Remove the foil from the bones on each rack of lamb. Carve apart at the separations between the bones and arrange the meat on each of four serving plates. Spoon apricot sauce over and around the meat.