Seared Duck Breast Over Fried Potato Medley With Mushroom Red-Wine Demi-Glace
How can you go wrong with these ingredients -- the richness of the duck, the earthiness of the mushrooms, the structure of the red wine, the crunchiness of the potatoes . . . It would be great without a sauce. But the red-wine demi-glace turns it into something amazing. This dish rewards patience.
I start with the demi-glace --
Fill a medium sized pot half way full of water and put on medium heat. Add salt.
Add 1/2 cup of each of the following: diced celery, diced carrots (can leave the skin on), sliced shallots, and leaks (the white part at the stem).
Add a handful of herbs (the exact amount and type is not important) to the water. I like sage and oregano.
Cover and boil gently for about 45 minutes or until the volume has decreased by half.
Add 1 teaspoon/cube vegetable base and 1 teaspoon/cube chicken base to the water and let it boil another 10 minutes.
Add 1 cup red-wine. Cover and let boil for another 30 minutes.
Pour the contents into a high power blender and blend on high for about 20 seconds. It should be a orange-brown mush. Pour into a large sieve over a new pot. If the mixture is too thick add some water. Apply gentle pressure with a spoon. If you don't feel like you have enough liquid/or it's not getting thick, you can spoon in some of the mixture directly into the pot. You should have about two cups.
Taste and season with salt and pepper (or more red wine) as needed. Place pot on stove over low heat. Add 1 ounce dried mushrooms (I use porcini or shitaki) and let simmer for an additional 20 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon butter before serving.
See the post on "Pan Seared Duck with Cèpes" for the preparation of the duck breast. For the fried potato medley, I used sweet potatoes, red potatoes, and yellow potatoes. Please have a glass of red wine with this dish . . . Napa, Sonoma, Bordeaux, Rhone Valley. .. It doesn't matter, they will all go great!