Grilled Duck Breasts with Pickled Blackberries

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Posted: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 10:37 am | Updated: 1:17 pm, Wed Oct 23, 2013.

Trending for later 2013 and 2014 are the pickled fruits. Served over pound cake with whipped cream or as a topping in grilled game meat. They make a perfect holiday gift idea as well, so get those trendy mason jars and pickle up!

Pickled Blackberries

  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 3 allspice berries
  • 2 juniper berries
  • One 1/2-inch piece of peeled fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 2 cups red wine vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 shallot, quartered lengthwise
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 18 ounces blackberries

1. In a mortar, lightly crush the peppercorns with the allspice, juniper berries, ginger and bay leaf. Transfer to a medium saucepan and add the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, shallot and thyme. Bring just to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Let the brine cool completely.

2. Strain the brine into clean glass jars and add the blackberries. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 week before serving.

(Make Ahead The pickled blackberries can be refrigerated for up to 3 months. )

(Note- the Blackberries at Yoder’s Produce Market have been the perfect balance between sweet and tart.

ck Breasts

(Always available frozen at Butcher Block, if you need them unthawed just give them a buzz 2 days ahead of time. I think they have the best around.

  • 4 12- to 14-ounce boneless duck breast halves, trimmed of excess fat
  • 4 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 6 firm but ripe Santa Rosa plums or other purple plums, halved, pitted
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

PREPARATION

Using sharp knife, score skin of duck breasts in crisscross pattern (cut skin only; do not cut through meat), spacing cuts 1 inch apart. Sprinkle duck breasts on both sides with 1 teaspoon thyme, 1 teaspoon pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cover and chill.

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Toss plum halves, olive oil, sugar, 1 teaspoon thyme, remaining 1 teaspoon pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in medium bowl. Grill plum halves, cut side down, until grill marks appear and plums begin to soften, about 4 minutes. Turn plums over and grill, skin side down, until skin begins to soften but plums still retain their shape, about 4 minutes. Transfer plums to bowl. Cover with foil and let stand while cooking duck.

Heat 2 large skillets over medium-high heat. Add 2 duck breasts, skin side down, to each skillet. Cook until skin is crisp and golden, about 7 minutes. Turn duck breasts over and cook to desired doneness, about 8 minutes longer for medium-rare. Remove from heat and let duck rest 5 minutes.

Thinly slice duck crosswise. Divide among plates. Place 2 plum halves alongside each serving. Drizzle any plum juices from bowl over. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons thyme and serve

Serve with a side of pickled blackberries.

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