Duck Breasts in Caramel Wine Sauce and Grilled Summer Fruits or the Quintessence of French Cooking

Et oui.....when we, foreigners, think about French cooking, one of the first things that comes to our mind is the famous "magret de canard" (duck breast). And this dish had been conspicuously absent from my blog, that humbly pays tribute to "la Cuisine Française"....and since duck meat is usually married to sweet fruits, nothing better than the summer and its array of nectar-like fruits, to show the step-by-step of this great main course, that seems difficult to make but it is not, and that will crown your dining table with a touch of class!

But there is a warning!!!! If you are the type of person that cannot think of eating meat medium-rare, then this is not the thing for you !!! Well-done duck meat means something impossible to chew... it becomes hard! When we slice it, it has to be slightly reddish (or very)... so it is up to you....What is worse, if you present your duck well done, a connaisseur (expert) will immediatedly think: "This person has no idea of French cooking..." So, don't say I didn't warn you... =D

The backstage of this post is that I made it for two people, so at dinnertime, I served this for my husband and me (I had prepared something else for the kids) Have you seen when you eat something in front of a hungry dog, that it stares at you, the food on the fork, and the swinging motion of your hand from dish to mouth? Well, at home it was the same but with my two daughters!!! So I had to make the terrible question: Do you want to eat this? And I did get the dreaded answer....."Yes", so we ended up sharing this...result? my husband complaining..."Why is it that when you make something this good, there is always so little of it?" The sauce is incredible!!, and my girls nodded, gulping down their pieces !!!. I explained it was meant for the blog, not for a real dinner of four...and I promised to repeat the recipe in the future....
I hope you enjoy it as much as my family did !

PS: maybe you have wondered why I never mention my son in my posts concerning food? The answer is that he is a 100% Argentinian for whom life is a huge steak, or veal cutlet milanese, or pasta, or pizza.... He does eat what I cook, but grudgingly....! And when I talk about the importance of eating fish...? Oh là là !! Do you get the picture? ;D

Now for the recipe....

To make this Duck Fillet in Caramel Wine sauce and Grilled Summer Fruits, you will need: ( serves 2 )
 * duck fillet, 1 or 2 (depending on size )
 * summer fruits: peaches, apricots, mango, figs (here I used 2 peaches, 1 flat peach, 1 mango)
  For the caramel wine sauce:
 * sugar, 80gr
 * dry red wine (I used a Malbec), 150ml
 * meat stock, 100ml
 * butter, 10gr

Start preparing the sauce: put the sugar in a thick pan. Heat the sugar till you get a brown caramel color; deglaze with the wine (warmed) (be careful here, the caramel will foam up); combine well. Then add in the meat stock. Reduce a little. Before serving, add the butter to the warm sauce and whisk well.
For the magret: put the magret on a cutting board, skin up. Make a crosshatch pattern with
a knife. Heat a skillet or frying pan to a medium/high, and then put the magret, skin down. You don't need any oil, since the skin has plenty of fat!! As soon as you place the magret on the hot skillet, the fat will begin to melt. Spoon the excess fat out progressively. Cook for 12/15'.
Turn it around. Cook for 3/4' more. Season to taste (salt & pepper)
Cut the peaches in halves, the mango in thick sticks. Sprinke the fleshy part of the fruits with sugar. Heat a grill pan. Place the fruit on it, till it becomes softer and grilled (the sugar will caramelize a little)
Cut the magret in thin slices. Place them on a dish. Drizzle with the sauce. Serve with the grilled fruit.


Miriam said…
Jaja, date por contenta de que tus hijas quieren probar las cosas refinadas que haces! Yo me quejo de que mis hijos no prueban casi nada... Tiene una pinta maravillosa, pero verdaderamente no sé si me gustaría comerlo casi crudo... pero lo probaría.
fromBAtoParis said…
Si, tres varones seria frustrante !!!
Yo también detestaba la carne no muy hecha antes, pero con tantos anios aqui, me acostumbré...y ahora cuando voy a Argentina, me parece que la carne "la secan"....
Gracias !!!!
Magdalena said…
Cristina, thanks for presenting this recipe. It is great and I am a a lover of a combo of duck and summer fruits.
The meat looks juicy and tasty, exactly the way I love to eat it (prepared by my husband).
I duck fillets, and my favorite comes from a famous butcher shop of Mr Bajon at Rue St Abbe Gregoire (in the 6th - maybe because we leave close by) - if you do not know this shop, I recommend it (if you leave not too far away; I wrote a post about this butcher shop lately).
What kind of meat stock did you use ?
I am asking because this kind of duck tastes incredibly tasty with some sauce made with addition of home made demi - glace (although it is pain in the neck to prepare it at home).
Have a nice evening in Paris :)
Chef Chuck said…
That duck looks incredible! I have never tasted that dish, the sweetness of the duck must have been nice!!
What a wonderful thing your daughters enjoyed that great french dish also. When my boy's try something new and like it,that make's me smile :)
Jason Phelps said…
I've only had duck a few times in my life and i don't generally like rare meat of any type, but this is the type of recipe that convinces me that I should be less worried and try it.

Did you have a specific wine pairing for the dish?

I seldom eat duck, but when I do, I hate it to be cooked until it loses its pinkness, unless it is duck confit. Actually, I scare my family and friends because I am so anti well done meat LOL

Your dish looks wonderful! The skin is amazing and the fruit accompaniment is just perfect!

Btw - have you noticed, your comment system has been very nice to me lately ;) Did you change some setting?
Unknown said…
What a stunning dish. Your husband is such a lucky man!
Have a wonderful day daaaaaahling.
*kisses* HH
Barbara said…
Lovely, Cristina. This is such a tasty looking dish. I love the way you've presented it. The caramel wine sauce must be sheer heaven.

I do love duck and make a duck salad on a regular basis which has an orange flavored vinaigrette. Duck MUST be served rare or medium rare at most.

Stone fruits would be the perfect foil for duck breast. Luckily, I'm able to get duck locally with no problem.
bunkycooks said…
This truly is a beautiful dish. Thank you for sharing it. And you are so right, you cannot overcook duck or it is just not good.
Unknown said…
Hi Christina, I love your duck breasts and the way you have paired them with grilled fruits is really perfection.
fromBAtoParis said…
@ Magdalena: Thanks for all your Paris/butcher tips !!!
From time to time I make real "fond brun", but to be honest, I didn't have any left (I keep it in small cubes in the freezer) so I used a ready made one...Sacrilege!!! ;D
Enjoy your vacation in Poland !!!
fromBAtoParis said…
@ Denise
@ Bunkycooks
@ Barbara
Thanks girls for agreeing as to the cooking point !!! I thought Americans would not like this as much, but I see you are real connaisseurs !!!!
Stella said…
Hey Cristina, I can see why your family loved this dish so much and wished there was more-it does look perfect. I love duck too-it's so good when cooked properly. I'm going to bookmark this for Fall use.
p.s. I didn't know you had a little boy or big boy (smile).
Ciao Chow Linda said…
I am so trying this dish with the fresh summer peaches we have in New Jersey. Your photos are really mouth-watering.
Magic of Spice said…
What a perfect looking dish:)
Amazing, and yes duck breast needs to be served a little under rose to really appreciate the taste. Looks delicious !!!
Deborah K. said…
I just made this last night. It was wonderful! Thank you for the lovely recipe

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