Sonoma "Free Range" Duck with Red Rice Pilaf, Armagnac Sauce, Dried Apricots, Cherries and Pears
By Roland Passot, La Folie Restaurant
- 2 ducks or 4 breasts
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- The Sauce:
- Duck bones, chopped in small pieces
- 1 cup of sugar
- cracked black pepper
- 1 cup Armagnac (brandy)
- 4 cups of brown stock (veal, if available) or bouillon cubes
- 6 dried apricots (diced 1/4 inch)
- 4 dried pears (diced 1/4 inch)
- 1/4 cup dried Michigan cherries
- Debone the duck (breast and legs). Reserve the legs for confits and cut away the excess fat from the breast, then season.
- In a heavy sauce pan over high heat, saute the duck bones. Let roast and color for about 5 to 8 minutes. Add cracked pepper, then sugar. Let caramelize. Add Armagnac or brandy. (Do not flambe, it will burn the bone.) Reduce by 1/4. Add stock and bring to a boil. Then let simmer. Degrease well and cook slowly for about 1 hour. Finish by straining in fine chinois, then add the cut dried fruit and cherries.
- In a heavy saucepan over high heat, saute the breast by starting on the meat side. Finish cooking in the oven on the fat side for 5 minutes until medium-rare.
- Slice the breasts thinly, lengthwise. Arrange slices of duck on a plate with the Red Rice Pilaf. Serve sauce on side or over the top.