Recipe Match for Zinfandel and Blends

Plum-Soy Duck Breast with Asian Slaw

  • 1/2 red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 2 cups snap peas
  • Juice of 1 1/2 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup peanut oil, plus more for cooking (you may substitute another cooking or dressing oil)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ginger paste, divided (you may substitute freshly grated ginger)
  • 8 Pekin, also known as Long Island, duck breast halves, approximately 2 pounds total (Note that packaged duck breasts might come whole or pre-portioned.)
  • 2 tablespoons plum sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste

1. Toss together the cabbage, shredded carrots and snap peas in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the lemon juice, toasted sesame oil, peanut oil (if you like a more acidic dressing, use the smaller amount of oil) and 1 teaspoon of the ginger paste. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Whisk the mixture together until it emulsifies. Gradually pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss until the vegetables are lightly coated; you might not need all of the dressing. (If there is extra, save it to serve on the side.) Set aside until you’re ready to serve.

2. Gently score the duck skin with a knife, pat dry with paper towels, then season liberally with salt and pepper, particularly on the skin side.

3. Lightly oil a large, oven-safe sauté pan; you will not need very much as the duck breasts will render a lot of fat. Place the duck breast in the pan skin-side down, then place the pan over medium-low to medium heat. Gently press the duck down into the pan as it starts to curl up. The duck fat will begin to render and bubble; you may need to pour out excess fat during the cooking process. (Strain and save this for another use.) If the fat is bubbling rapidly, lower the temperature. Continue to cook skin-side down until the skin is crisp and golden-brown and most of the fat has been rendered, about 15 minutes. Check with a meat thermometer to be sure the duck has reached an internal temperature about 5˚ F lower than your ideal final cooking temperature. (For medium-rare, you’re aiming for around 130˚ F to reach a final temperature of 135˚ F. Note: The USDA recommends a final temperature of 165˚ F, which would be well done.)

4. While the duck is cooking in the pan, mix together the plum sauce, soy sauce and remaining 1/4 teaspoon of ginger. Turn on the oven’s broiler setting. Remove the pan from heat and flip the duck breasts over. Spoon or brush the sauce over the duck, then transfer the pan to the oven. Allow the duck to broil for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the sauce is starting to caramelize and brown on the duck skin.

5. Remove the duck breasts from heat and allow them to rest for about 5 minutes. Plate whole or sliced with the slaw. Serves 6 to 8.

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