Ingredients Jump to Instructions ↓

  1. 2 boned and skinned Pekin duck breasts, plus the wings of the

  2. 2 ducks, trimmed of excess fat and chopped into 1-inch pieces Coarse kosher or pickling salt

  3. 3 cups unsalted chicken stock (storebought or homemade-page 405) or duck stock (storebought or homemade-page 407)

  4. 1 tablespoon coarsely cracked black peppercorns

  5. 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

  6. 1 1/2 tablespoons minced shallots

  7. 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon tiny nonpareil capers, drained but not rinsed

  8. 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon minced French cornichons

  9. 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon finely diced fresh tomato

  10. 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

  11. 1 tablespoon dry white wine

  12. 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Instructions Jump to Ingredients ↑

  1. Rub the duck breasts with 2 teaspoons coarse salt. Thread them loosely onto an 18-inch length of kitchen string and tie the ends together to make a loop. Set on a flat dish, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Bring the stock with the peppercorns to a boil in a 2½-quart saucepan. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large nonreactive skillet, brown the chopped duck wings in 1 teaspoon of the butter over moderately high heat. Pour off any fat. Push the wing pieces to one side. Add 2 more teaspoons butter and the shallots to the skillet. Reduce the heat to moderately low and cook for 2 to 3 minutes to soften the shallots. Add 1 tablespoon each of the capers, cornichons, and tomatoes. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the vinegar and white wine and boil down to a glaze. Stir in the mustard and 1 cup of the simmering stock. Simmer over low heat for 5 minutes. Strain the sauce through a sieve into a small saucepan, pressing on the solids to extract as much flavor as possible. The sauce should be very piquant. Keep warm over very low heat. Rinse the salt off the duck and drop the string of chilled breasts into the boiling stock. Immediately reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 3½ minutes for small duck breasts (weighing about 4½ ounces) and 4 minutes for larger (about 5 ounces). Quickly remove from the pot and let rest for 30 seconds. Remove the string and carve the duck breasts crosswise on the diagonal into thin slices. Arrange overlapping on a warmed serving platter. Swirl the remaining 2 tablespoons butter into the sauce to thicken it slightly. Fold in the remaining 1 teaspoon each capers, tomato, and cornichons. Spoon the sauce over the breasts and serve at once.


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