Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Duck Fillets Cooked with Pear and Wine

Duck fillets are surely a delight to anyone who tastes it.
A French recipe term for thinly sliced duck fillets taken from the breast of the duck, aiguillettes, are very simple to cook. They have a comparably lighter color than other duck cuts and have a milder flavor. Duck aiguillettes are often fried quickly in hot melted butter, seasoned, and served as an appetizer. In this gourmet recipe, the duck aiguillettes are browned in butter quickly so that the inside remains pink and juicy. The sautéed duck strips are served with pears poached in red wine, seasoned with cloves, star anise, and juniper berries. The sweet and spicy pears make a wonderful contrast to the buttery and tasty duck.

Duck aiguillettes with pear in wine make a fine hors d’ oeuvres for fancy occasions. This dish can also be served with potatoes for a main fare. Fried or sautéed mushrooms go great with this recipe. You can also make this recipe using duck fillets or duck magrets, but this will take a bit longer to cook. Sear the duck on both sides and let the grease ooze out of the meat.

If you are using frozen duck meat, thaw it first in the refrigerator overnight or for a few hours. For best results, allow the meat to come to room temperature before cooking. Remove any excess fat to lessen the grease. Cut any tendons to prevent the meat from becoming smaller and tough when sautéing or frying. This recipe and many more cooking videos recipes here.

Use a nonstick frying pan for cooking the duck on medium high heat. The thick layer of fat under the skin of the duck will melt as the duck cooks so it is best to cook the duck with the skin side down first and then flip it to the other side when the fat melts and grease fills the pan. The duck is cooked when the juices run clear of blood.

2 pears (not too mature)
4 cups red wine (Bergerac)
3 cloves
6 juniper berries
1 star-shaped anise
salt, pepper
16 duck aiguillettes or 2 duck magrets (fillets)

1. Peel the pears. In a saucepan, simmer the red wine, cloves, juniper berries, and star-anise. Poach the pears in the boiling red wine and drain it out of the liquid.

2. Reduce half of the wine.

3. Prepare the aiguillettes and fry them quickly in butter. Degrease.

4. Cook the pears in the duck cooking juice until the liquid is reduced almost entirely. Add the reduced wine and season. Add a large hazelnut-size scoop of butter to thicken the sauce.

5. Cut the pears in half and core. Place each half on a serving dish with the aiguillettes and cover with sauce.

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