One of the cool things about living abroad is having access to foods you don't normally have access to in your home country. Take for example plums. Here in France, there are two types of plums that simply aren't available in the U.S. They are the Reine Claude and the Mirabelle varieties.
Why are they not available? Quite simply because they're banned. I won't go into all the details (it has to do with both trade and risk of foreign fruit flies), but I have to say it's really too bad because these are the sweetest, most delicious plums I've ever had in my life. They're so sweet, they're like candy, especially the Mirabelles (I prefer them over the Reine Claudes).
Anyway, we've been gorging on them in the waning days of summer, and since they go bad somewhat quickly, I decided to try them out in my glazed duck recipe. I altered the glaze recipe slightly here, opting for a more herbal, sweet and sour flavor that, when combined with the fatty, meaty duck, hit all the taste notes on our tongues. To be sure, we didn't have any leftovers that night!
Here's the recipe. If you can't get your hands on Mirabelles, any plum will do, of course. The sweeter the better. And if you give this a shot, be sure to post a picture to social media and tag it with #eatfrenchclub!
Seared Duck Breast with Mirabelle Plum Glaze
- Two duck breasts (about 2 pounds)
- 1/2 pound of Mirabelle plums, sliced in half and de-seeded
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
- Preheat oven to 200 C (about 400 F).
- Score duck breast skin in diamond shapes.
- In a cold frying pan, place duck breasts skin side down and cook on medium high heat until golden brown (about 5-10 minutes once pan is hot). Turn over and sear meat for another 5-10 minutes until brown. Turn off heat when done and let rest while you work on the glaze.
- In a medium sauce pan, place about 1 tablespoon of butter and about 250 grams of pitted mirabelle plums. Add 1 tablespoon of sugar and stir over medium heat until dissolved. Plums should also be fairly broken down at this point.
- Add about 1/2 cup of white wine, 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar, another tablespoon of butter, and 1-2 tablespoons of teaspoons of fresh thyme. Stir until well blended.
- Remove breasts from pan and place on flat baking dish skin side up. Coat in sauce. Place in oven for about 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven when internal temperature of duck is about 55 C/135 F. Let rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing and devouring.
- 10" non-stick frying pan
- 11 x 17 flat baking sheet
- small sauce pan