Coffee Glazed Duck

January 11, 2013

With spaghetti squash and maple syrup

Tired of the usual? Why not try duck? A little of this dark-meat fowl goes a long way to sate any appetite.

This dish has intriguing complexity, a POW of flavor, and it's very easy to make. The spaghetti squash, an oblong pale yellow vegetable, has natural "strands" when cooked making in a healthful alternative to plain spaghetti and gives a sweet nutty taste. Makes a beautiful holiday luncheon entrée along with a small butter lettuce salad with mandarin oranges and light vinaigrette. 

Please note: Noodles can be substituted for the spaghetti squash. 

This recipe makes 6 servings.

Coffee Glazed Duck Ingredients: 
1 1/2 pounds duck breasts 
2 tablespoons (about 2 ounces) of maple syrup 
Olive oil (about 2 ounces) 
1 additional tablespoon (about 1 ounce) maple syrup 
1 ounce brewed espresso or use regular coffee pulverized into a powder to make a strong brew 
3 ounces canned or bottled tomato pasta sauce, plain or meat flavored 
2 spaghetti squash 
1 tablespoon butter 
2 tablespoons honey 
Rosemary, salt and pepper, to taste, about 1/4 teaspoon each

Set the duck breasts in a pan, cover with olive oil and 2 ounces of maple syrup, cover, and refrigerate to marinate overnight.
On the day of serving, preheat the oven 400°F. 
Split the squash lengthwise and remove the seeds with a spoon. 
Add honey and butter in the cavities, then cover them with foil and bake about 20 minutes or longer, until a fork easily separates the strands. 
Remove the squash and scoop out the threads and place in a bowl, sprinkle with the rosemary, salt, and pepper. Cover to keep hot. 
To cook the marinated duck breasts, arrange them in a large sauté pan so that they do not touch. 
Begin cooking until some of the fat is rendered, over a medium to high heat, then baste the meat with the fat. 
Reduce the heat and cook about 5 minutes on the skin side. Turn them over and sear 1 minute longer or until the meat is pale pink. 
Remove them from the heat and onto a cutting board, and then cut against the grain into thick slices. Cover to keep hot. 
In a small saucepan, combine the espresso, maple syrup, and meat sauce. 
To serve, scoop a small portion of the squash onto the center of each plate, place the duck slices on top then spoon the sauce over the meat.