A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN
For this elegant fall recipe, Duck with figs and a port reduction sauce, we’ve paired the dish with our 2016 Liberty Bell Pinot Noir. The richness of the seared duck skin is lifted by the bright acidity of the wine, and the autumnal forest floor and baking spice notes in this classic Willamette Valley Pinot is complemented by the subtle sweetness and savoriness of the port reduction sauce.
We hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!
1 cup port
3/4 cup red wine
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
4 sprigs fresh thyme, plus additional for garnish
4 duck breasts
1 shallot, finely minced
1/2 pound mission figs, quartered with stems removed
2 teaspoons butter
Maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
In a small saucepan, combine the port, red wine, peppercorns, rosemary, thyme, and shallot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half. Remove the sauce from the heat, strain the solids through a fine sieve, and set aside.
Pat the duck breasts dry and place them on a cutting board skin-side up. Use a sharp knife to score the skin diagonally, then turn the breasts and score them on the opposite side to create a diamond pattern. Season the breasts with salt then place them, skin-side down, in a large cast-iron skillet. Turn the heat up to medium-high to render the fat, around 6 minutes. Remove the breasts from the heat.
Meanwhile, place the butter in a small skillet and turn the heat up to medium-high. When the butter has melted, place the figs in the skillet and cook them until they are lightly browned. Remove from heat.
Drain the duck fat from the skillet the breasts rendered in. Heat to medium-high and return the breasts to the skillet. Pour half the port reduction over the top, then baste them with the sauce. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes until they are medium-rare, or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast reads at 135°.
Cut the duck breasts into thin slices, spoon the figs over the top then drizzle with the remaining port reduction sauce. Garnish with thyme sprigs and serve.