Pan Seared Duck Breast. Honey Roasted Root Vegetables, Red Wine Gastrique:

(Serves 6)

For The Ducks & Vegetables:

6 duck breasts
2 small celery root
2 small rutabagas
2 small parsnips
6 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons blended oil
6 ounces duck confit meat (optional)

For The Red Wine Gastrique:

½ yellow onion, small diced
1 stalk celery, small diced
1 carrot, small diced
6 cloves peeled garlic
1 bay leaf
4 sprigs thyme
6 whole black peppercorns
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup red wine vinegar
4 cups duck stock
1 cup veal demi-glace
2 tablespoons blended oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Method For The Gastrique:

In a medium sauce pot over medium-high, heat 2 tablespoons of oil and add the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic. Sauté the vegetables until they are caramelized and spread the sugar over the vegetables evenly.
Stir constantly to make a dark caramel. De-glaze the pan with the red wine vinegar. The sugar will seize up but will melt again after a few minutes. Let the vinegar reduce until almost dry and add the duck stock. Bring to a boil and reduce by half. Add the veal demi and reduce until the sauce holds a nice line on a plate. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and reserve in a warm spot.

Method For The Vegetables:

Peel the celery root, rutabaga and parsnip. Cut into ¼ “ x ¼ “ x 2” batons or rectangles. You will need 18 pieces of each vegetable. In a medium sauté pan on high heat, heat the 3 tablespoons of oil.
Add the vegetables and sauté until the vegetables get a little color. Add the honey and coat the vegetables.
Place vegetables in a 400 F degree oven until they are soft and caramelized, about 5 minutes. Add the butter to the vegetables and stir to combine. Add the duck confit if using. Set aside.

Method For The Duck:

Score the fat side of the duck breasts, making criss-cross marks with a paring knife, careful not cut all the way to the flesh. In a sauté pan, on low heat, place the duck breasts skin side down to render out the fat. Do not overcrowd the pan; you may have to render the duck in two separate batches. Continue to render until the skin is golden and crispy about 10-15 minutes.
Flip the Duck breast over and sear the flesh side, increasing the heat to medium-high, basting the skin using a spoon and the rendered duck fat. Cook to desired doneness. Let rest out of the pan for about 5 minutes.

To Assemble:

On large warmed plates, place the root vegetables and duck confit in the center. Spoon the red wine gastrique around the vegetables. Slice the duck breast into 4 slices length-wise and place on top of the vegetables.