DUCK SCALOPPINE

I'M ALWAYS ON THE LOOKOUT FOR A NEW DUCK RECIPE.  I LOVE DUCK AND HAVE ROASTED IT, BRAISED IT, PARBOILED IT AND DRIED IT WITH A HAIRDRYER, COOKED IT LIKE THE CHINESE, CONFITED THE LEGS, AND PAN FRIED THE BREASTS.  BUT I HAD NEVER TREATED IT LIKE SCALOPPINE AS MARIO BATALI DOES IN HIS WONDERFULLY-INVENTIVE MOLTO ITALIANO COOKBOOK.  MARIO USES MAGRET (BREASTS FROM MOULARD OR BARBARY DUCKS) WHICH ARE LARGER THAN THEIR SMALLER COUSINS PEKIN DUCK.  HE SLICES THEM CROSS-WISE AND POUNDS THE PIECES BEFORE SAUTÉING THEM.  THE ACCOMPANYING SAUCE IS MADE WITH GRAPPA AND DRIED CHERRIES.  I COULDN'T FIND DRIED CHERRIES IN THE FARMERS MARKET SO I SUBSTITUTED DRIED PLUOTS, WHICH HAD A SIMILAR SWEET-SOUR TASTE. I TINKERED WITH THE RECIPE A BIT, REMOVING THE SAUTÉED FILLETS FROM THE PAN BEFORE MAKING THE SAUCE, BUT THIS IS ESSENTIALLY MARIO'S INVENTION AND A QUITE STUNNING ONE AT THAT.  

 1 WHOLE DUCK BREAST (MAGRET)
 FLOUR
 ½ cup DRIED CHERRIES, PLUOTS OR PLUMS
 ½ cup GRAPPA
 ½ cup RED WINE
 CHICKEN STOCK
 1 BUNCH OF SCALLIONS

1

COMBINE DRIED CHERRIES WITH THE GRAPPA AND RED WINE IN A SMALL BOWL AND ALLOW TO STEEP FOR AT LEAST 15 MINUTES. IF YOU'RE USING DRIED PLUOTS, CHOP THEM ROUGHLY BEFORE SOAKING.

SEPARATE THE TWO BREASTS. SLICE CROSSWISE INTO 6 EQUAL PIECES, LEAVING THE FAT ON.

PLACE THE FILLETS ON A FLAT SURFACE. COVER WITH PIECE OF PLASTIC WRAP OR WAXED PAPER. USING THE FLAT SIDE OF A CLEAVER OR A WOODEN MALLET POUND THE FILLETS TO ABOUT 1/4" THICK.

HEAT A LARGE SKILLET OVER MEDIUM HEAT. POUR IN 1/2 CUP OF OLIVE OIL.

MEANWHILE, SPREAD ABOUT 1/2 CUP OF FLOUR ON A LARGE PLATE. SEASON GENEROUSLY WITH SALT AND PEPPER.

WHEN THE OIL IS SMOKING, DREDGE THE FILLETS, A FEW AT A TIME, IN THE SEASONED FLOUR, SHAKE OFF EXCESS AND LAY THEM IN THE PAN. COOK ABOUT 2 MINUTES A SIDE. REMOVE TO A WARM PLATTER.

POUR OUT MOST OF THE FAT IN THE PAN. ADD THE GRAPPA/RED WINE/CHERRY MIXTURE AND REDUCE TO ABOUT 1/2 CUP. ADD ABOUT 1/3 CUP OF CHICKEN STOCK AND REDUCE TO ABOUT 3/4 CUP.

TURN OFF THE HEAT. STIR IN 2 TBSPS OF SOFTENED BUTTER. SPOON OVER THE DUCK AND GARNISH WITH SLICES OF CHOPPED SCALLION.

SERVES 4

Ingredients

 1 WHOLE DUCK BREAST (MAGRET)
 FLOUR
 ½ cup DRIED CHERRIES, PLUOTS OR PLUMS
 ½ cup GRAPPA
 ½ cup RED WINE
 CHICKEN STOCK
 1 BUNCH OF SCALLIONS

Directions

1

COMBINE DRIED CHERRIES WITH THE GRAPPA AND RED WINE IN A SMALL BOWL AND ALLOW TO STEEP FOR AT LEAST 15 MINUTES. IF YOU'RE USING DRIED PLUOTS, CHOP THEM ROUGHLY BEFORE SOAKING.

SEPARATE THE TWO BREASTS. SLICE CROSSWISE INTO 6 EQUAL PIECES, LEAVING THE FAT ON.

PLACE THE FILLETS ON A FLAT SURFACE. COVER WITH PIECE OF PLASTIC WRAP OR WAXED PAPER. USING THE FLAT SIDE OF A CLEAVER OR A WOODEN MALLET POUND THE FILLETS TO ABOUT 1/4" THICK.

HEAT A LARGE SKILLET OVER MEDIUM HEAT. POUR IN 1/2 CUP OF OLIVE OIL.

MEANWHILE, SPREAD ABOUT 1/2 CUP OF FLOUR ON A LARGE PLATE. SEASON GENEROUSLY WITH SALT AND PEPPER.

WHEN THE OIL IS SMOKING, DREDGE THE FILLETS, A FEW AT A TIME, IN THE SEASONED FLOUR, SHAKE OFF EXCESS AND LAY THEM IN THE PAN. COOK ABOUT 2 MINUTES A SIDE. REMOVE TO A WARM PLATTER.

POUR OUT MOST OF THE FAT IN THE PAN. ADD THE GRAPPA/RED WINE/CHERRY MIXTURE AND REDUCE TO ABOUT 1/2 CUP. ADD ABOUT 1/3 CUP OF CHICKEN STOCK AND REDUCE TO ABOUT 3/4 CUP.

TURN OFF THE HEAT. STIR IN 2 TBSPS OF SOFTENED BUTTER. SPOON OVER THE DUCK AND GARNISH WITH SLICES OF CHOPPED SCALLION.

SERVES 4

DUCK SCALOPPINE
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