Accidental Locavore Farmbasket Week 3, Spinach and Breast of Duck

And it’s not officially summer for another week!
There’s so much growing on the farm, and a lot of it showed up in the Accidental Locaovre’s basket this week. There were peas, broccoli, spinach, beets, radishes, rainbow chard, and a big head of red leaf lettuce.
  • The beets, which I hate, but my husband loves, will get wrapped in foil and tossed in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes until they’re tender. Then he can do whatever he wants with them.
  • I made a lovely (local) duck breast the other night with a recipe I picked up last weekend at the CIA lecture with Chef Rob Mullooly. For his lecture, he made a Pinot Noir Sauce, which I’m happy to share if you want, but I was looking for simple and easy the other night, so I just sauteed it. 
  • Rob puts a little olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat.
  • While that’s heating up, turn your oven to 350 degrees, score the skin/fat side of the breast, and sprinkle (from up high) salt and pepper.
  • Put the duck breast skin side down in the pan, and let it saute until the skin is nicely brown and crispy looking. If a lot of fat has rendered, you might want to pour it out from time to time.
  • Flip the breast in the pan, and toss it in the oven. Let it cook until it’s cooked through about 5-6 minutes, depending on how you like your duck.
  • Let it rest for a few minutes, then slice and serve.
  • While my duck was resting, I took some of the duck fat in the pan, and added my spinach to it, along with about 2 cloves of garlic, minced, and a handful of pine nuts. When the spinach was wilted, I plated that with my duck breast on top. Delicious!
If you don’t know how to check for doneness, here’s a tip I learned a long time ago from my local butcher. Put the thumb and first finger of your right hand together, take the index finger of your left hand and poke the flashy part below your thumb, that’s rare. If you switch your fingers, you go from medium rare, to medium, to well done (pinky to thumb). That’s how your duck, or steak should feel when it’s cooked to your liking.

3 thoughts on “Accidental Locavore Farmbasket Week 3, Spinach and Breast of Duck”

  1. Pinot Noir Sauce from the Culinary Institute

    1 bottle Pinot Noir wine
    6 cups chicken broth
    2 TBSP vegetable oil (like grapeseed)
    1 onion, diced
    4 celery stalks, diced
    2 carrots, diced
    3 TBSP tomato paste

    For bouquet garni (tied in a cheesecloth to make a pouch):
    1 garlic clove, crushed
    4 parsley stems
    6 black peppercorns
    ¼ TSP dried thyme
    1 bay leaf

    Bring the wine and the broth to a boil in separate pans, and reduce each for 10 minutes.

    While the liquids are reducing, heat the vegetable oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes until slightly translucent. Add the celery and carrots and sauté until lightly caramelized (leave them alone in the pan. If you stir them a lot, they won’t caramelize), about 10 minutes.

    Add the tomato paste, and cook to a deep red-brown, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes.

    Deglaze the pan with the reduced wine, and simmer until reduced by half.

    Add the reduced broth, and the cheesecloth pouch, and simmer until the sauce coats the back of a spoon, about 15-20 minutes. Season with salt & pepper, and swirl in 3 TBSP butter just before serving.

  2. Would love to have the recipe for the Pinot Noir Sauce. I don't see it posted on your site.

    Thanks much.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.