Duck with 3 peppercorn sauce

Yield: 1 Servings

Measure Ingredient
3 Whole duck breasts
6 Duck legs, thigh bones removed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
30 Pink peppercorns
20 Green peppercorns
¼ cup Cognac
1 cup Brown veal stock
3 tablespoons Unsalted butter, softened

This recipe is a hybrid of a recipe from the Cordon Bleu at home and a meal I had at Laurier sur Montcalm in Ottawa (a dining experience I truly enjoyed). I will be scaling it back for dinner for two (Valentines, after all). I'm not sure exactly how to describe some of the steps but I'll try.

Start with fresh ducks. Remove breasts and legs (this is very well described in the Cordon Bleu at Home cookbook). Bone out the thigh bone and cut the end of the drumstick (exposed portion off). Truss the legs into a compact shape. Heat a little oil in a saute pan and brown the legs.

This is the part I'm going to have trouble explaining. In the presentation of the dish, you will have the duck breast slices fanned across the plate and the duck leg coming at the front of the plate with the bone sticking up on a 45 degree angle. Make sure that, when you saute the duck leg, the initial position the leg hits the pan is the same as the final one you will want on the plate. I haven't actually tried this yet, it's only a theory of mine, but it's how it was served at Laurier sur Montcalm. Once the legs are browned, roast in a 375 degree oven until done to your taste (I would think around medium for the legs).

Score duck breasts, season with salt and pepper and set aside. Heat large frying pan over medium heat until hot. Put duck breasts in, skin side down (the fat released will be sufficient to cook the breasts) and cook until skin is brown and crisp (2-3 minutes). Add peppercorns, turn breasts and continue cooking until medium rare (about 6 minutes longer). Discard fat from pan, add cognac and light it. Once the flames have subsided, remove the breasts (tent with foil). Add stock and deglaze. Cook over medium heat until liquid is reduced by half. Remove and whisk in butter. Slice the duck breasts on the bias.

To serve, I am going to prepare little potato pancakes (Pierre Franey) and some julienned vegetables. I will put the julienned vegetables under the pancakes on the side of the plate furthest away from the diner, just off center. Then I will put the duck leg, facing the diner, behind the pancakes and the breast slices fanned out over the pancakes. I will either spoon the sauce over the breasts or nap the plate with sauce before I build it up (I'm still deciding).

Posted to FOODWINE Digest 14 Feb 97 by Romain Saha <rsaha@...> on Feb 14, 1997.

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