duck breast with balsamic pears

4 servings
Boneless duck breasts
Shallots, halved and thinly
Garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon Minced ginger
Firm pears, Bosc, peeled,
  Cored and finely chopped
¼ cup Pear eau-de-vie
¼ cup Balsamic vinegar
¼ cup Chicken stock
1 teaspoon Finely chopped thyme, plus
  Additional sprigs for
2 tablespoons Chopped walnuts
  Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Score the skin of the duck breasts and pat them dry. Season them with salt and pepper. Over medium high heat, heat a large oven proof saute pan until very hot. Sear the duck, skin side down until fat is rendered and the skin is golden. Pour off most of the rendered fat, reserving 3 tablespoons for later. Transfer the pan to the oven and finish roasting until medium rare, about 5 minutes.

In a saute pan, heat the reserved duck fat. Add the shallots, garlic, ginger, and pears. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 2 minutes.

Add the eau-de-vie, balsamic vinegar and stock and cook over high heat, about 3 minutes, until the mixture is slightly thick and the pears are tender. Remove from the heat and stir in the thyme, walnuts and season with salt and pepper.

Thinly slice each duck breast and serve with sauce. Garnish with thyme sprigs.

Yield: 4 servings

Recipe courtesy of Gourmet Magazine COOKING LIVE SHOW #CL8990

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