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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Whiskey Raspberry Glazed Duck Breasts

Whiskey Raspberry Glazed Duck Breasts
Silly me, I got married on Valentine's Day, therefore condemning myself to a lifetime of anniversaries with over-booked, over-crowded restaurant dinners. Fortunately, the husband and I are resourceful. Instead of fighting those dinner crowds, we opt instead for eating out for lunch; {knock on wood} we've never once had to brave a crowded restaurant.

It was late morning when we said our vows, and afterwards, all the friends and family who were there (which were not many) headed over to a local Mexican restaurant for a celebratory lunch. It's sort of become a tradition for us to eat at that same restaurant for lunch every year on our anniversary. It's unspoken, but that's where we always end up.

Whiskey Raspberry Glazed Duck Breasts
Since lunch is our time to dine out, that means that we eat Valentine's dinner at home. That doesn't mean it's something boring. As a matter of fact, we try to mix it up every year. My husband tells me all the time that he can't believe he didn't eat {insert name of food here} before he met me. I tend to agree that I'm a good influence. No wonder we get along.

The number one thing we marvel over is the fact that he didn't eat garlic (on purpose) before we started dating. It's a good thing he came around, because garlic was my other boyfriend. Now we're on the same page, the one that reads "the more garlic the better". Another food he didn't eat before I made (it for) him was duck. That's a little more understandable. I know plenty of people who don't eat duck.
duck breasts skin side down in pan image
Most of the people I've known who don't eat duck say they just don't know what to do with it. They either aren't familiar with it, don't know how to cook it properly, or think it's just a special occasion kind of meat. All of that makes sense, but believe me when I say that although duck is great for special occasions, it's just as great on a random Tuesday. It's also fairly simple to cook.

While everybody in my house prefers duck legs and thighs, I think that the breast can be the easiest place to start. Duck is actually a red meat, so when you cook the breast, if you like your steak rare, you'll probably like your breast rare, as well. I do; my husband does not. He does not like pink meat in any capacity. So, while the breasts I'm sharing today are only lightly tinged with pink to make him happy, you can remove them from the heat sooner if you prefer rare or medium-rare.
how to get crispy duck skin image
To dress them up a bit in the spirit of Valentine's Day, I combined raspberries, a fruity whiskey, and some honey to glaze them with. The whole process takes approximately 20 minutes. Once you sit down to eat, you'll be feeling sorry for those lovebirds waiting for a table in a crowded restaurant.

If the thought of cooking duck still makes you nervous, you could always ease yourself in by using some precooked duck confit, like I did for this Duck and Lentil Ragù with Spaghetti Squash. Or, if you're feeling more adventurous, you could try making these Char Siu Duck Legs on the grill!
Whiskey Raspberry Glazed Duck Breasts