Most of my recipes in the last several months have been inspired by fresh, home grown produce. I have one friend who’s garden I raided all summer to the point that I could be called Peter Rabbit. Through the fall my main inspiration has come from a friend’s farm that has had an amazingly consistent and diverse array of beautiful mushrooms. With the last batch I received I had originally thought of making a chicken marsala. But as I sat and thought about it I decided it was time to step my game up and give this Italian-American classic a major upgrade.
- 2 duck breasts
- 1/2 lb mushrooms thinly sliced, white button or cremini/baby bellas are always good here
- 1/2 cup marsala wine
- 3/4 cup chicken stock
- 2 tbsp butter
- Salt and pepper
Salt the skin side of the duck and allow it to sit for 15 minutes. Wipe down the excess moisture. This next part is going to feel counter intuitive but here we go. Get a cast iron pan. Put the duck skin side down in the pan and salt and pepper the meaty side. Only after the duck is in the pan may you turn your burner on.
For electric ovens: go ahead and turn the heat up to medium high so the skin will gradually cook to render the fat off. Cook to brown the skin, about 6-8 minutes.
For gas ovens: start by turning the heat to low amd gradually turning it up every couple of minutes to get that 6-8 minute golden brown effect.
When the skin looks good flip the duck and cook 3-4 minutes. Remove the duck from the heat and place on a cutting board to rest.
Add your mushrooms to the duck fat and sauté until they release their juice, about 3-5 minutes. Add the marsala and cook to reduce by half, about 2-3 minutes. Then add the chicken broth and once a light boil starts to happen reduce the heat to medium low and allow to simmer about 5 minutes to let everything mesh together. finally finish the sauce with butter and season to taste.
By the time the sauce is done then the duck will be ready to thinly slice. I like to poir the sauce over the side to keep the skin at that potato chip consistency. I’d recommend it with polenta or mashed potatoes with roasted veggies.