I’m raising both of my hands over here. My life is crazy just like yours. Two kids + full time job + piano students + volunteering + kids activities = BAKED CHICKEN FOR LIFE. That’s ok and even somewhat expected.

But sometimes we just need to say no to the baked chicken. We need to have something decadent on a week night. Sometimes, even though I’m dog tired and stressed out, I will put the kids to bed then spend the next hour or so making something for dinner just for myself because it makes everything a bit better for that small amount of time.

This seared duck breast with bacon+grape+red wine sauce over a duck egg cake is a go-to for me lately weather I’m cooking for myself or some other lucky duck people. This dish works equally well for a fancy-pants dinner party or a table for one…

You can find the recipe for DUCK EGG CAKE HERE.  I think it fits so perfectly with the seared duck breast, but you could certainly make this dish without it and serve instead with some creamy polenta or roasted potatoes. You just go ahead and do whatever makes you happy, loves.

So let’s get started.

Using a sharp knife, score the fat on the duck breasts to create a crosshatch pattern. Be very careful not to cut into the meat of the breast. Salt both sides of the breast and set aside to come to room temperature while you prep the rest of your ingredients. (15-20 minutes)

Mince 2 teaspoons of fresh rosemary and gather the rest of your sauce ingredients.

Add 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil to a cast iron or saute pan and place the duck skin side down in the cold pan. Turn on the stove to medium heat and allow the duck to cook nice and slowly to allow the fat to render without burning. The skin will become nice and crisp when it’s ready to flip. While the fat is rendering, you can scoop it out with a spoon while tilting the pan slightly and reserve for another use. (like frying potatoes – SWOON) This rendering process will take 8-9 minutes on the fat side.

Flip the breasts over and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Then remove from the pan, cover with foil and set aside to rest while you make the sauce.

Add the bacon and the grapes to the pan and allow to come to medium heat again. Cook until the grapes have softened, split open and the bacon is nice and crisp.

Add the red wine, vinegar and rosemary to the pan and stir.

Or let your handsome, way too grown son stir it because: HANDSOME AND TOO GROWN. Allow the red wine to reduce by half and then add the chicken stock and reduce again by half. Season to taste again, if necessary.

Slice the duck breast on the bias and serve over the duck egg cake, topped with this gorgeous sauce. You can add some green onion for color if you’d like, but don’t stress over it for goodness sake.

The duck egg cake is slightly sweet but mostly savory and RICH. The duck breast and sauce are decadent and earthy and push all of my favorite buttons. I’m telling you what… you should definitely make this and make is SOON.

Let me know what you’re cooking these days! Use that comment box right down below and talk to me for a few! Thanks for stopping by – I sure do love you all! (especially YOU!)


All photos: Matthew Ray