Honey Balsamic Glazed Duck and Couscous Salad

sliced duck breast and cold couscous salad

sliced duck breast and cold couscous salad

We went to Lunardi’s today (an excellent grocery store about which we will write in a future post) specifically for the meat selection.  Duck was on the list, and we found a two-pack of breasts of Muscovy duck (aka Barbary duck) from Grimaud Farms, perfect for our dinner.  To go with one of the leanest of duck breeds, Zach made a raw vegetable couscous salad with Mediterranean inspiration.

Makes 2 (and lots of leftover couscous)

• For the couscous vinaigrette:

1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice

3 finely minced garlic cloves

1 tsp. of dried oregano

1 tsp. of dried thyme

1 tsp. of kosher salt

1/2 tsp. of freshly cracked black pepper

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and whisk profusely until emulsified.

• For the couscous itself:

1 cup of RiceSelect couscous (we like that they work with stophungernow.org)

1 cup of water

1 large zucchini

12 grape tomatoes

1/4 cup of sliced black olives

1/8 cup of toasted pine nuts, aka pignolia

2 tsp. of butter

1 tsp. of kosher salt

Boil water, salt, and butter in a medium saucepan.  Add couscous, stirring quickly so that it doesn’t immediately settle into the water.  Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 5 minutes.  Fluff with a fork and set aside so that it can cool.

Slice the tomatoes in half and put in a large mixing bowl.  Cut the zucchini in half, the half the halves, so that you get quarter sticks.  Dice the sticks into 1/4 inch pieces, and add to the tomatoes.  Add the cooled couscous, olives, toasted pine nuts, and vinaigrette, and gently toss so as not to break the tomatoes.  Keep cool until serving.



• For the glaze:

4 tbs. of honey

3 tbs. of balsamic vinegar

In a small non-stick saute pan on medium heat, cook the two ingredients for 4-5 minutes until the consistency is thickened like a light syrup.  Turn off the heat and let it stand.

• For the duck:

2 duck breasts (we used Muscovy for the lower fat content)

1 tbs. of peanut oil

1 tsp. of kosher salt

1/2 tsp. of freshly cracked pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Score the duck breasts (meaning: lightly slice across the skin in lines about a half-inch apart, crossing to make a checkerboard pattern) and season both sides with salt and pepper.

Heat the peanut oil in a large oven-proof saute pan over medium.  After about 1-2 minutes of warming up, place one duck breast skin side down; wait about 15 seconds before placing the second so that the oil doesn’t cool down.  Cook for 6 minutes, then flip over and paint the skin and sides with the honey balsamic glaze.

Bake for 8 minutes for medium-rare, 10 minutes for medium, 11 for medium-well, and then 12 for well (ha, that rhymed).  We recommend medium-rare.  After reaching your desired doneness, rest on a cutting board for 4 minutes before slicing on the bias (meaning: diagonally, like at 45 degrees into the cutting board instead of perpendicular to it).

Posted on February 9, 2013, in Recipes and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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