Pan-Seared Duck Breast with Blueberry Sauce


2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons dried thyme leaves
1 tablespoon crushed dried rosemary
3 tablespoons olive oil 4 potatoes, cubed
2 pints fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup apple juice
1/2 cup white sugar
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
3 slices pancetta or bacon, cut into thin strips
6 shallots, thinly sliced
1/2 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms
2 pounds bok choy, sliced
4 (8 ounce) boneless duck breast halves
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). In a small bowl mix  together the salt, ground black pepper, thyme, and rosemary; set  aside. This will be your spice blend for seasoning the roasted  potatoes and the duck breasts.

Place cubed potatoes into a 9×13 inch baking dish. Drizzle with  olive oil and sprinkle 2 tablespoons of your spice blend over the top  of the potatoes. Toss the potatoes in the pan until they are evenly  coated with oil and seasonings. Spread into a single layer across  the bottom of the baking dish and bake for 35 to 40 minutes in the  preheated oven.

While the potatoes are roasting, stir together the blueberries, water,  apple juice, sugar, and jalapeno in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil  over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to low, and simmer until  the mixture has reduced to the consistency of syrup, about 10  minutes.

Cook the pancetta in a large skillet over medium heat until crispy.  Remove the pancetta to drain on a paper towel, leaving the  drippings in the skillet. Add the shallots and the mushrooms to the  hot skillet; stir and cook them until soft and just beginning to brown.  Remove the shallots and mushrooms and set aside. Increase heat  to medium-high and place the bok choy in the hot skillet. Stir and  cook the bok choy until the leaves are wilted and the white stalk  pieces are tender, about 5 minutes. Return the shallots,  mushrooms, and pancetta to the skillet, turn off the heat and set  aside.

Rinse the duck breast halves and pat dry. Rub the remaining spice  blend onto both sides of the duck breasts. Preheat a large skillet  over medium-high heat, when the pan is hot put in the vegetable oil  and butter. Immediately place the duck breasts in the pan, skin and  fat side down. Do not move the duck breasts until the skin is deep  brown, about 5 minutes. Turn the breasts and cook until the internal  temperature of the thickest part is 160 degrees F (71 degrees C) for  well done. Remove the duck from the pan and place on a plate,  covered with foil to rest for 5 minutes. While the duck is resting,  place the skillet with the bok choy mixture onto a burner over  medium heat to warm through.

Slice each duck breast diagonally into 1/2 inch strips. Divide the  bok choy mixture among four plates and drizzle each serving with.

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