It was a hard-fought battle between the two favorite football teams. My sons' team was the defending champion, but unfortunately had been beaten by a wisely-coached rival. The ride home was heavy with unuttered frustrations, until Son #2 declared that HE'S HAD IT WITH FOOTBALL!, and would now BECOME A VEGETARIAN! (please don't ask me to explain the connection).
We'll see, I thought, knowing that I had prepared some duck breasts that the butcher had been raving about earlier that morning. My butcher usually sells these imported from France, and was thrilled to have found a local farmer that supplied him with fresh duck of the same high quality. After looking into my pantry, I thought of using some orange marmalade, balsamic vinegar, and marsala wine for a sweet and tangy glaze. True to the butcher's word, the duck was indeed juicy, tender and flavorful. Delicious enough to forget the vegetarian idea until the next football season!
Duck Breasts with Balsamic Orange Glaze
2 duck breasts
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons orange marmalade
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup marsala wine
2 shallots, minced
1 large garlic clove, minced
salt and pepper
Season duck breasts with salt and pepper. In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat olive oil and pan fry the duck, skin side down for 15 minutes under medium heat, until skin is golden brown.
Turn over and continue pan frying for another 5 minutes for medium doneness, 10 minutes for well done. Remove and let the duck rest on the side.
Remove excess oil from pan and leave about 1 tablespoon in. Saute the shallots and garlic until translucent, then pour in chicken stock, marmalade, balsamic vinegar and marsala wine. Stir well and reduce until the glaze is thick and syrupy. Season to taste.
Slice the duck breasts and spoon the glaze over the crisp skin.