Mexican restaurants abound here. There is practically one on every other block, often right next door to one another. However, Mexican food will make you fat if that's all you eat. There. I said it. And it's true. Once a month for us. Maybe.
We also quit eating fast food due to health concerns but we still have it once or twice a month. We can't always be expected to be good. Right?
Our latest culinary adventure was to make the perfect duck breasts. Items like duck breasts are only stocked sporadically so when we saw them at the store, we jumped at the chance to give them a try. Out here in the wilds of West Texas it cost us a whopping $70.00 for two duck breasts so I was determined to to get them right. And right I did. They were beyond delicious and way more than either of us could eat. Still, they were worth every penny, as well as the effort.
Pan Fried Duck With Orange Glaze:
2 Boneless Peking or Muscovy Boneless Duck Breasts (I used Peking duck)
Kosher Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper
For the Glaze:
2 tablespoons of orange liqueur (I used Grand Marnier)
1 cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 star anise
freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon orange zest
2 tablespoons butter
Using a sharp knife, lightly score the skin side of the duck breast and season with salt and pepper. Place the duck breast skin side down in a cold saute pan and place over medium heat. Cook until the duck skin is crispy, 8-10 minutes. Drain and discard the duck fat that pools on the bottom of the pan as they cook and the skin renders.
Flip the duck breasts and cook very briefly (about 30 seconds) on the other side.
Remove from pan and set aside to rest as you prepare the glaze.
Take the pan that you cooked the duck breast in and pour out the fat, wipe out any excess salt and discard. Away from the heat, add orange liqueur to de-glaze then return to heat and add orange juice, spices and sugar. Reduce for 2-3 minutes until thickened and rich. To the pan add orange zest and cold butter. Swirl as it melts and serve with sliced duck breasts.
I served the duck with a brown & wild rice medley and sugar snap peas, which was the perfect combination. Cheers! (Recipe is from Top Chef University.)