Roasted Duck Breast with Raisin-Poppyseed Sauce and Pan-Seared Vegetables
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons poppyseeds
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 trimmed duck breasts, skin-on, about 8-10 ounces each
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus additional, if necessary
- 4 heaping cups assorted seasonal vegetables, such as radishes, turnips, leeks, red onions, shallots, baby fennel, sweet potato, and butternut squash, trimmed and cut into 1 ½-inch pieces or wedges
Make golden raisin-poppyseed sauce. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and place over high heat. Cook, stirring, until sugar is dissolved. Pour over raisins and let sit until plump, 5 minutes. Transfer to food processor and blend until chunky. Add white balsamic vinegar and olive oil and pulse to combine. Add poppyseeds and pulse again to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and reserve for serving.
With a razor blade or sharp knife, score duck skin in a ¼-inch crosshatch pattern. Season skin and flesh generously with salt and pepper.
Place duck breasts in a medium skillet, skin side down. Place over high heat. When sizzling intensifies, after 1-2 minutes, reduce heat to medium and place a smaller skillet or pan on top of duck to apply some weight and encourage skin contact with the pan. Cook, undisturbed, until skin is golden brown, about 7 minutes.
Remove smaller pan and pour fat into a heat-proof container, reserving 1 tablespoon in skillet. Reserve fat for another use. Begin to sear the two sides of each piece by using a large spoon to lean the sides of each breast onto the edges of the skillet. Sear each side of each breast for 1 minute, for a total of 2 minutes more.
Finally, turn breasts over onto flesh side and continue cooking for an additional 2 minutes, rolling each breast gently with two spoons to get an even sear.
Remove duck from pan and place on a cooling rack, skin side up, to rest, 10 minutes.
While duck rests, make pan-seared vegetables. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add butter and let melt. When foaming subsides, add vegetables, in two batches if necessary so as not to overcrowd skillet. Replenish butter in between batches. Season with salt and pepper and saute, shaking skillet occasionally, until vegetables are seared, lightly golden, and crisp tender, about 4-8 minutes. Remove more tender vegetables as they finish cooking to a large plate. Rewarm all vegetables in skillet before serving.
When duck is rested, slice crosswise to desired thickness and serve, with pan-seared vegetables and golden raisin sauce.