I had an experimental evening last night with duck breasts and a discovered remnant of Demijohn Sloe Gin 25%, a leftover from a very energetic massed sledging outing only a couple of months ago. The verdict: a success, improved with a splash of lemon vinegar.
- 2 shallots
- 2 duck breasts
- 60-100ml Demijohn Sloe Gin 25%
- 1 star anise (optional)
- a dash of Demijohn Lemon Vinegar
Slice the shallots thinly and soften in a frying pan using the tiniest smidgen of olive oil. When softened set the shallots aside in a warmed dish and wipe the pan clean with kitchen roll then heat the pan to smoking hot. Having scored the skin of the duck breasts and seasoned with salt and pepper fry them in the pan for about 5 minutes until the skin is just starting to crisp. Drain the fat from the pan and turn the duck breasts over, cooking for a further 3-4 minutes until the meat is still just pink inside. Remove the duck breasts to the dish of shallots and lower the heat under the pan. Now slake the pan with the Sloe Gin, allowing enough to make a jus for each duck breast. Remember that the gin will reduce in quantity so don't be too sparing. Add the star anise and bubble the gin until it reduces by about a third and takes on a slightly syrupy consistency. Add a dash of lemon vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste then pour this jus over the duck breasts.
Served with creamy mashed potato and mountains of springy green vegetables this seems to be quite well received!