Skillet-cooked duck breast with beets and watercress


Santa just arrived! Now this elf needs some sleep before the kids bring down the house in the morning.

For Christmas Eve dinner, we served:

And lots and lots of bubbles and wine…

Skillet-cooked duck breast with beets and watercress

(Adapted from Saveur here and here)

For 8 servings

For black rice:
2 shallots (thinly sliced)
2 tbs olive oil
3 cups black rice
3 cups chicken broth

  1. In a skillet, heat olive oil.
  2. Add shallots and cook until fragrant and soft, about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Rinse black rice.
  4. Add rice, shallots, and chicken broth to a rice cooker.
  5. Choose Brown Rice settings if available.

For beets:
8 whole yellow and red beets (unpeeled)
2 tbs olive oil
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
Sea salt and pepper

  1. Toss all ingredients together.
  2. Wrap each beet separately with foil.
  3. Bake in oven 350F for 30-45 minutes, depending on sizes.
  4. Rub foil to peel beet skins.
  5. Cut into wedges.
  6. Keep warm

For ruby port sauce:
3 cups ruby port (or 2 cup ports + 1 cup red wine)
2 shallots (thinly sliced)
1 tbs whole pepper
2 tsp cornstarch

  1. In a saucepan, combine all ingredients except cornstarch.
  2. Simmer until reduced by half, about 25-30 minutes.
  3. Whisk in cornstarch, and cook for another minute.
  4. Keep warm

For duck breast:
8 duck breasts (about 3 lbs)
Sea salt and pepper

  1. Season the flesh side of duck breasts with salts and pepper.
  2. In a skillet, place duck skin-side down.
  3. Cook until skin is crispy, about 5 minutes.
  4. Flip and cook for another 3-4 minutes for medium rare.

For watercress salad:
1 bunch of fresh watercress
1 tbs olive oil
Sea salt and pepper

  1. Before serving, toss all ingredients together.

To serve:

  1. Place a spoonful rice pile in the middle of a dinner plate.
  2. Scatter beets wedges around rice.
  3. Layer one duck breast, skin-side up, on top of rice.
  4. Add a spoon or two of ruby port sauce.
  5. Sprinkle watercress on top.
  6. Serve immediately.