Yes, Christmas is nearly here and it’s time to plan a menu. Looking for some inspiration, we asked Chef Michel Cornu, director of cuisine at Raymond Vineyards, for a suggestion. What he came back with is a recipe for duck that is so easy and elegant, you may forever forgo turkey or tenderloin for this holiday meal.
Chef Cornu lives to create beautiful food with expressive taste and flavor while using seasonal ingredients. He is able to access most of his seasonal ingredients – including the game – right from the vineyard’s biodynamic and organic farm. While your ingredients may not be quite that local, across most of the U.S., duck is in season. So are carrots.
Cornu recommends free-range or wild duck for its sublime tenderness. Raymond’s 2012 Prodigal Cabernet Sauvignon, available through the Frontgate Estate Wine Club, is the perfect pairing.
Long Island Duck Breast with Porcini Mushrooms and Pink Pepper Cabernet Sauce (serves 4)
- 4 duck breasts
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1 pound of porcini mushrooms, sliced
- 3 cloves of garlic, sliced
- 1 teaspoon chopped flat parsley
- 1 teaspoon sliced chives
- ½ cup Raymond Vineyards 2012 Prodigal Cabernet Sauvignon
- 1 teaspoon coarsely ground pink peppercorns
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Skin the duck breast.
- Warm a large sauté pan; when hot add 4 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp butter.
- Add the mushrooms and sauté until golden brown. Salt and pepper to taste. Add the garlic and sauté for 2 more minutes. Stir in the parsley and chives, remove from heat and keep warm.
- In the same pan, sauté the duck breast for one-and-a-half minutes on each side for medium-rare, two minutes if you prefer medium. Remove from heat the let rest while you prepare the sauce.
- Deglaze the pan for two minutes with the Prodigal Cabernet and pink pepper. When reduced to 1/3 cup, add ½ cup of the cooked porcini mushrooms, then blend in a mixer or food processor while adding the remaining olive oil and butter.
- Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
- Dallop the sauce in the center of four plates, add the porcini mushrooms then slice each duck breast and arrange it like a sun. Garnish with a roasted baby carrot for a touch of color, if desired.
- Serve with wild rice or couscous, and roasted carrots, steamed broccoli, or sautéed kale. Oh yes, and the rest of that Prodigal Cab.