Most of the food I make at home is delicious, yet simple. Some of it is fancy. And then there are the rare delicious dishes that are both simple and fancy, such this pan-seared duck breast with sage and pear sauce. It happens to be compliant with the elimination phase of the autoimmune protocol (AIP) and would be appropriate for people using other healing diets, like the specific carbohydrate diet (SCD), but that is just a bonus for those of us who need to be aware of that… for everyone else in the world, this is just an elegant dish that you’d swoon over in a fancy restaurant!
Breaking down a duck
I was excited to snag one of the pasture-raised ducks from Polyface Farm (not a sponsored mention, I’m just a happy customer!) earlier this year and it was hanging out in my freezer, just waiting for me to figure out how to best use it. I ultimately decided to give myself the extra challenge of breaking it down so I could experiment with the pieces separately and turned to the internet for guidance. I found this video, which was helpful, but my analog mind tends to like text and pictures, so this old blog post from Saveur was very helpful.
I reserved all the fat and the legs for a recipe that you’ll see soon, as well as the carcass and all bones to make some duck stock. But this dish was all about the breasts!
Of course, you might not need to go through all that work. If your local store or butcher carries duck at all, it is likely to have boneless duck breasts. Another option is to order online from D’Artagnon (I have no ongoing financial relationship with this company, though several years ago they did send me a free box of their best selling items).
Pan-searing duck technique
The technique outlined in this recipe of starting in a cold pan and using a second pan to weigh down the boneless duck breast is borrowed from this recipe posted on Serious Eats (one of my favorite places to learn simple techniques for tackling intimidating dishes).
Why pears? Why not?!
And the sauce, using both fresh and dried sage and a juicy pear, was inspired by the bounty in my urban garden! Sage is always plentiful and this year we had a bumper pear harvest off our single tree.
Now, let’s get to that recipe…
AIP Duck Breasts RecipePrint
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