A friend of ours used to live in Barcelona and this was her favorite dish in a local restaurant. After visiting the restaurant dozens of times she finally managed to get the recipe from the head chef. It was about ten years ago, so we think they’ve changed their recipes and it’s not that bad a crime to publish this now.
Ingredients for Duck Breasts for 4 Servings
- 2 duck breasts – magret de pato
- salt – sal
- ground black pepper – pimienta negra
- sprigs of fresh thyme – tomillo
Score the fat of the breasts in crosshatch pattern. Place the breasts on cold pan fat side down. Cook in medium heat about 4 minutes so that most of the fat is melted and the surface is nicely browned. Then turn the breasts and cook another 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Move the breasts on a plate and place it in a 60 ºC (140 ºF) oven so that they keep warm while finishing the pears and the sauce. Pour most of the melted fat off from the pan to a cup for later use. Leave about 2-3 table spoons on the pan for making the pears and peppercorn sauce.
When pears and sauce are ready, cut the breasts in slices and place half a breast on each plate on top of the pears. Garnish with sprigs of thyme.
Ingredients for Pears for 4 Servings
- 4 pears peeled and seeds removed – peras
- 2-3 table spoons of duck fat – grasa de pato
- 0,5 dl (0.2 cups) apple juice – zumo de manzana
- 1 glass of bourbon whiskey – bourbon
Put the pan on high heat and first fry the pear slices on the fat so that they get a little bit brown. Then add bourbon, boil it, add apple juice and bring it to boil, too. Use fork to check when pears are cooked soft, but still hold their structure nicely. Remove the pears from the juice and start making the peppercorn sauce.
Ingredients for Peppercorn Sauce for 4 Servings
- 5 dl (2 cups) of double-cream – nata cocina
- 2-3 table spoons of green peppercorns, partly crushed – pimienta verde
- chicken demi-glace – caldo de pollo
- salt – sal
- cornstarch – maicena
Add cream and peppercorns to the pan along with whiskey and apple juice mixture. Bring it to boil and add demi-glace. Season with salt to taste and add cornstarch to generate desired structure for the sauce.