Duck Breast Crusted with Honeyed Nuts Coffee Infusion and Brandied Cherries
HONEYED NUT CRUST:
- 4 tablespoons blanched almonds, toasted
- 4 tablespoons blanched hazelnuts, toasted
- 4 tablespoons walnuts, toasted
- 6 ounces wildflower honey
- 4 cups duck consomme
- 4 cups heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons cracked espresso beans
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 Moulard duck breasts
- Salt and pepper
- 4 tablespoons canola oil, plus 2 tablespoons
- 4 cups cleaned endive
- 1 orange, zested
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 4 ounces brandied cherries
To make the crust, chop the toasted nuts coarsely. Do not reduce the nuts to a powder. Stir the nuts into the honey and set aside.
To make the coffee sauce, in a heavy-bottomed saucepot, bring the consomme and the cream to a boil, reduce the heat, and let simmer. Stirring occasionally, reduce the sauce by about 3/4, until it will coat the back of a wooden spoon. Add the cracked coffee beans, cover, and turn off the heat. Let the sauce infuse for 10 minutes, then strain, and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Set sauce aside and keep warm.
Preheat the broiler. To prepare the duck breast, trim away excess fat and lightly score the skins with a sharp knife. Season with salt and pepper and cook, skin side down, over medium heat in 4 tablespoons of the canola oil. As the duck breasts render their own fat, the skins will crisp and become golden brown. Drain off excess fat periodically. Cook the duck breasts for about 10 minutes. Turn the breasts onto their flesh side and cook for 1 more minute. Remove the breasts from the pan, and wipe pan clean with a paper towel.
In a separate saute pan, heat the remaining canola oil. Add the endive, orange zest, and sugar, and saute until the endive is wilted. Set aside and keep warm.
Spread each breast with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the honey nut crust, and place them back in the clean pan. Caramelize the duck under the broiler for 1 minute, making sure the crust doesn't burn. Remove the breasts to a plate and rest for 5 minutes.
To serve duck breast, slice each breast into 1/4-inch thick pieces and fan out. Place slices on warmed plates with sauteed endive. Pour the coffee sauce around duck breast, and garnish with the brandied cherries.