A romantic Valentine’s Day dinner: duck breast with balsamic grape sauce

Slow-Roasted Duck Breast With Balsamic Grape Sauce

Slow-roasted duck breast with balsamic-grape sauce and roasted Brussels sprouts, February 2014

For a romantic Valentine’s Day, why not treat your sweetheart to an out-of-the ordinary home-cooked dinner?

Extravagant main courses I love are beef tenderloin, Chilean sea bass, or the recipe here, duck breast with a drizzle of sweet-savory sauce. When slow-roasted, duck breast is decadent and butter-knife tender. The balsamic grape sauce I’ve paired it with would also complement steak, sea bass, or even chicken.

The duck breast recipe calls for searing it before roasting, which will give you a few tablespoons of fat. An excellent use for the fat is in a side dish of roasted Brussels sprouts.

An ingredient in the grape sauce is coconut aminos, which are naturally gluten-free and soy-free. You can substitute soy sauce for the coconut aminos, but if you need the dish to be completely gluten-free, be sure to use gluten-free soy sauce.

Slow-Roasted Duck Breast
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Recipe type: Main
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Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2 duck breasts (about 12 ounces each)
  • Salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 200ºF.
  2. With a sharp paring knife, score the skin in a criss-cross pattern, making cuts about 1/2 inch apart. Cut down into the fat without exposing the meat, leaving about 1/8 inch of fat uncut. (This is tricky because the fat is tough, but you make some of the cuts down as far as the meat like I did, the fat will still tend to stay intact on the breast.) Salt both sides of the breasts.
  3. Place a heavy skillet over medium high heat. Add the duck breasts, skin side down. Cook without moving them for about 6 minutes or until the skin is well-browned.
  4. Transfer, skin side up, to a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet with a roasting rack. Reserve the fat in the pan for another use, such as roasted vegetables.
  5. Place roasting pan with the duck breasts in the preheated oven. For very rare, roast until the internal temperature in the thickest part reaches 135ºF (start checking at about 25 minutes). For medium rare to medium, roast until temperature reaches 145ºF to 150ºF (check at about 50 minutes).
  6. Place breasts on a cutting board and let rest for about 5 minutes before slicing. Cut into 1/4-inch to 1/3-inch slices. Serve with a drizzle of balsamic-grape sauce, if desired.
Calories: 439; Fat: 14g; Saturated fat: 0g; Carbohydrates: 0g; Sugar: 0g; Sodium: 291mg; Fiber: 0g; Protein: 75g; Cholesterol: 0mg.

Balsamic Grape Sauce
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Recipe type: Sauce
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Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups seedless red grapes
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary (1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives or green onions (2 tablespoons dried chives)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons coconut aminos, or soy sauce (gluten-free, if necessary)
Instructions
  1. Remove grapes from stems and place in a blender. Process until smooth.
  2. Place oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and heat just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add rosemary and chives and heat until fragrant, several seconds more.
  3. Stir in grapes, vinegar, and coconut aminos or soy sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer 30 minutes or until slightly thick.
  4. Cool slightly and puree in blender or using an immersion blender.
  5. Drizzle over beef, fish, or poultry. Can be used as a barbecue sauce. Can be frozen.
Serving size: 1/4 cup; Calories: 73; Fat: 2g; Saturated fat: 0g; Carbohydrates: 12g; Sugar: 9g; Sodium: 57mg; Fiber: 1g; Protein: 1g; Cholesterol: 0mg.

Brussels Sprouts Roasted in Duck Fat
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Recipe type: Side
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Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered or halved
  • 4 tablespoons duck fat
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Place washed and quartered sprouts in a casserole dish or rimmed baking pan. Toss with salt and duck fat.
  3. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes or until some of the sprouts are very dark brown. Stir once or twice during cooking.
Calories: 162; Fat: 13g; Saturated fat: 4g; Carbohydrates: 10g; Sugar: 2g; Sodium: 176mg; Fiber: 4g; Protein: 4g; Cholesterol: 13mg.

 

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One Response to “A romantic Valentine’s Day dinner: duck breast with balsamic grape sauce”

  1. joannabanana21 says:

    wow!! duck is my dream meat to try!! i can’t afford it since it’s $16 for 12 oz here. might splurge one day and just try it though. i love roasted grapes so this look like something i’d go nuts for.


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