Grilled Duck with Strawberry-Fig Sauce
Here we pair a luscious strawberry-fig sauce with grilled duck for a simple yet elegant main dish.
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium shallot, sliced
- 1/3 cup port
- 2 tablespoons chopped dried figs
- 2 1/2 cups halved fresh strawberries, (about 12 ounces), divided
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 1/2-2 pounds boneless duck breasts, (see Shopping Tip), trimmed, skin removed
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, about 1 minute. Add port and figs and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add 1 1/2 cups strawberries, 1 cup broth, 1 tablespoon vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the strawberries are very soft and broken down and the sauce has reduced slightly, about 15 minutes.
- Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh strainer into a 2-cup glass measuring cup or bowl (discard the solids). You should have about 1 cup liquid. (If you have more than that, return the sauce to the pan and continue reducing until you have about 1 cup.) Combine the remaining 2 tablespoons broth and cornstarch in a small bowl. Return the strained sauce to the pan along with the cornstarch mixture; cook over medium heat, stirring, until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and has reduced by half, 5 to 7 minutes. Combine 1 tablespoon of the sauce with the remaining 1 teaspoon vinegar in a small bowl to use as a basting sauce. Cover the remaining sauce to keep warm.
- Meanwhile, preheat grill to medium.
- Season duck breasts with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Oil the grill rack. Grill the duck, basting twice, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 150°F for medium, 4 to 8 minutes per side, depending on the thickness. Transfer to a clean cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes.
- While the duck is resting, chop the remaining 1 cup strawberries. Slice the duck and serve with the sauce, garnished with the chopped strawberries and basil.
Tips & Notes
Shopping tip: Boneless duck breasts range widely in weight, from about 1/2 to 1 pound, depending on the breed of duck. For this recipe, we recommend using smaller (about 1/2-pound) breasts—we prefer their milder flavor.
Make Ahead tips: Cover and refrigerate the sauce (Steps 1-2) for up to 2 days.
Calories: 298, Carbohydrates: 7 g., Fat: 16 mg., Saturated Fat: 5 mg., Monounsaturated Fat: 7 mg., Protein: 26 mg., Cholesterol: 95 g., Fiber: 1 g., Postassium: mg., Sodium: 519 mg., Added Sugars: mg.