Duck Breasts & Orange-Prune Pan Sauce with Arugula, Asparagus & Roasted Fingerlings
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Duck Breasts & Orange-Prune Pan Sauce

with Arugula, Asparagus & Roasted Fingerlings

45 MIN
+$8.50/serving 4 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

WHY WE LOVE THIS DISH
Rich, savory duck breasts get a mix of sweet, bright, and warming flavors from a coating of quatre épices (a blend of nutmeg, ginger, white pepper, and cloves) and spoonfuls of our orange, prune, and butter pan sauce.

TECHNIQUE TO HIGHLIGHT
To preserve the delicate crunch and bright green color of our asparagus, you’ll blanch and shock them, or simply boil them for a short amount of time, then immediately stop the cooking process by placing them in ice water.
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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    680 Cals (est.)
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fresh
ingredients
Duck Breasts & Orange-Prune Pan Sauce with Arugula, Asparagus & Roasted Fingerlings
Title
  • 4 Skin-On Duck Breasts
  • ¾ lb Asparagus
  • 1¼ lbs Fingerling Potatoes
  • 1 Navel Orange
  • 4 oz Arugula
  • 1 bunch Chives
  • 1 oz Prunes
  • 2 oz Salted Butter
  • 1 Tbsp Verjus Blanc
  • 1 Shallot
  • 2 Tbsps Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsps Whole Grain Dijon Mustard
  • ¼ cup Sliced Roasted Almonds
  • 2 Tbsps Orange Marmalade
  • 1 tsp Quatre Épices (White Pepper, Nutmeg, Ginger & Cloves)
time-saving
tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients
1 Prepare the ingredients

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven; preheat to 450°F. Fill a medium pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Snap off and discard the tough, woody stem ends of the asparagus; cut on an angle into 2-inch pieces. Quarter the potatoes lengthwise. Roughly chop the prunes. Halve the orange crosswise; squeeze the juice into a medium bowl. Add the chopped prunes, verjus, and orange marmalade. Stir to combine. Peel and small dice the shallot; place in a large bowl. Add the mustard and vinegar; season with salt and pepper. Stir to coat. Thinly slice the chives.

Roast the potatoes
2 Roast the potatoes

Transfer the quartered potatoes to a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat and arrange in an even layer. Roast 20 to 22 minutes, or until lightly browned and tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven.

Cook the duck
3 Cook the duck

Pat the duck dry with paper towels. Season on both sides with salt, pepper, and the quatre épices. Heat a large pan (nonstick, if you have one) on medium until hot. Add the seasoned duck, skin side down. Cook 9 to 11 minutes, or until browned and the skin is crispy. Flip and cook 4 to 5 minutes for medium (145°F), or until cooked to your desired degree of doneness.* Turn off the heat. Transfer to a cutting board, skin side up, and let rest at least 10 minutes. Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, carefully drain the duck fat into a small bowl. (Set aside to solidify. Cover and refrigerate for future use, or discard if desired.)

*The USDA recommends a minimum safe cooking temperature of 165°F for duck.

Blanch & shock the asparagus
4 Blanch & shock the asparagus

Fill a medium bowl with ice water; add a pinch of salt. Set aside. Add the asparagus pieces to the pot of boiling water and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until bright green and slightly tender. Drain and immediately transfer to the bowl of ice water. Let stand until cool. Drain thoroughly and pat dry with paper towels.

Finish the vegetables
5 Finish the vegetables

To the bowl of dressed shallot, add the shocked asparagus, roasted potatoes, arugula, and a drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper; toss to combine. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired.

Make the pan sauce & serve your dish
6 Make the pan sauce & serve your dish

Heat the pan of reserved fond on medium-high until hot. Add the orange-prune mixture (carefully, as the liquid may splatter). Cook, stirring frequently and scraping up any fond, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until slightly thickened. Turn off the heat; stir in the butter until melted and combined. Flip the rested duck to be skin side down on the cutting board (to easily cut through the skin). Thinly slice crosswise. Serve the sliced duck (skin side up) with the finished vegetables. Top the duck with the pan sauce and sliced chives. Garnish the vegetables with the almonds. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

Prepare the ingredients
1 Prepare the ingredients

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven; preheat to 450°F. Fill a medium pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Snap off and discard the tough, woody stem ends of the asparagus; cut on an angle into 2-inch pieces. Quarter the potatoes lengthwise. Roughly chop the prunes. Halve the orange crosswise; squeeze the juice into a medium bowl. Add the chopped prunes, verjus, and orange marmalade. Stir to combine. Peel and small dice the shallot; place in a large bowl. Add the mustard and vinegar; season with salt and pepper. Stir to coat. Thinly slice the chives.

2 Roast the potatoes

Transfer the quartered potatoes to a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat and arrange in an even layer. Roast 20 to 22 minutes, or until lightly browned and tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven.

Roast the potatoes
Cook the duck
3 Cook the duck

Pat the duck dry with paper towels. Season on both sides with salt, pepper, and the quatre épices. Heat a large pan (nonstick, if you have one) on medium until hot. Add the seasoned duck, skin side down. Cook 9 to 11 minutes, or until browned and the skin is crispy. Flip and cook 4 to 5 minutes for medium (145°F), or until cooked to your desired degree of doneness.* Turn off the heat. Transfer to a cutting board, skin side up, and let rest at least 10 minutes. Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, carefully drain the duck fat into a small bowl. (Set aside to solidify. Cover and refrigerate for future use, or discard if desired.)

*The USDA recommends a minimum safe cooking temperature of 165°F for duck.

4 Blanch & shock the asparagus

Fill a medium bowl with ice water; add a pinch of salt. Set aside. Add the asparagus pieces to the pot of boiling water and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until bright green and slightly tender. Drain and immediately transfer to the bowl of ice water. Let stand until cool. Drain thoroughly and pat dry with paper towels.

Blanch & shock the asparagus
Finish the vegetables
5 Finish the vegetables

To the bowl of dressed shallot, add the shocked asparagus, roasted potatoes, arugula, and a drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper; toss to combine. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired.

6 Make the pan sauce & serve your dish

Heat the pan of reserved fond on medium-high until hot. Add the orange-prune mixture (carefully, as the liquid may splatter). Cook, stirring frequently and scraping up any fond, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until slightly thickened. Turn off the heat; stir in the butter until melted and combined. Flip the rested duck to be skin side down on the cutting board (to easily cut through the skin). Thinly slice crosswise. Serve the sliced duck (skin side up) with the finished vegetables. Top the duck with the pan sauce and sliced chives. Garnish the vegetables with the almonds. Enjoy!

Make the pan sauce & serve your dish
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