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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!


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