Monday, February 11, 2013

NEW RECIPE: Duck "Hearts" with Wild Mushroom Risotto (Valentine's Day Special)

© Constantine William Spyrou

Ok, guys, Valentine's Day is coming up. If you're not taking your spouse, fiance, significant other, etc. out for the night, you can still make Valentine's Day very romantic by cooking your own meal! I bet your special someone will be extremely pleased to see something normally ordered in 5 star restaurants on their plate in your home. One of the best romantic dishes? If you're going all-out fancy, this duck dish is the way to go. Duck is deliciously gamey and provides a huge amount of flavor to the dish. Paired together with a rich wild mushroom risotto and a tasty Syrah wine reduction, this is sure to please any palette. Syrah is a fruity wine that goes well with both the mushrooms in this risotto and the duck. Mushroom risotto is a great, rich dish that really complements the duck. Utilizing the duck fat just adds further flavor to all of the dish, and will make it seem almost heavenly. Now, this recipe is called Duck "Hearts" because I will be cutting the duck breast into a heart shape to make it more romantic. You can then also truss up the plate how you want... Imagine spelling out I <3 U using the duck and the Syrah reduction for example... 

Recipe is for 2 people, and goes well with candles. And rose petals.

For the Duck:

2 duck breasts, cut into heart shapes
Salt + Pepper to season
2 whole cloves of garlic
1 sprig of fresh rosemary

For the Syrah reduction:

1/2 bottle Syrah wine
2 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp butter
Salt + Pepper to Season

For the Wild Mushroom Risotto

1/4 cup Porcini mushrooms, chopped
1/4 cup King Oyster mushrooms, chopped (Button mushrooms also work if you can't get these)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups arboreal rice
4-6 cups chicken stock
Salt + Pepper to Season
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp Parmesean Cheese
2 tsp Garlic Powder
2 tsp Thyme


1. Score the duck breasts so that the skin is covered wits diamond score marks. Don't penetrate into the meat, just score the skin and fat layer.
2. Season the duck with salt and pepper, and place it in a hot dry pan, SKIN SIDE DOWN, on low heat. Add the garlic and rosemary to the pan.
3. While the duck begins to cook, make the Syrah reduction, checking to see when duck fat begins to come out from the breast. Bring the Syrah and chicken stock to a boil, and add the salt and pepper. Reduce by half, then added the butter. When it melts, take the reduction off the heat.
4. When the duck is ready, turn up the heat and color both sides, then finish off in a 300 degree Fahrenheit oven for 10 minutes. Take the duck and garlic out of the pan, but leave the rosemary in.
5. In the same pan, which should have duck fat in it, take out about half the duck fat. Turn on the heat, then add both kinds of mushrooms. Season with the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and thyme. When the mushrooms turn brown and are cooked through, remove them from the heat and set aside.
6. In a different hot pan, place the olive oil. When it begins to lightly smoke, add the rice and cook to a light golden color. Begin adding 1/2 cup of stock at a time until the rice fully absorbs it. When the rice is fully cooked (15-20 minutes), add the wild mushrooms, Parmesean Cheese, and Butter, then stir until fully combined and the butter and cheese are melted.
7. Plate up in any way you see fit, but make sure the duck breast "heart" is over the risotto. Hope you and your special someone have a great night!

Enjoy this wonderful Valentine's Day Dish, and if you do choose to make it for that special someone, let me know how it turns out! Enjoy! 

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