Duck Breasts with Apples and Chocolate Sauce



2 duck magrets (breasts, about 3/4 lb each)
2 oz dark chocolate (60% cacao), cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons chicken or veal stock
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons water
2 Granny Smith apples
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Yield: 4 servings


Bring duck breasts to room temperature and score them so fat can render during cooking. Sear in a warm skillet over medium high heat, skin side down first, about 5-7 minutes each side. Reserve breasts on a warm dish and cover with foil. Deglaze the duck fat in the pan by adding the vinegar. Then add stock, water and chocolate pieces. Continue cooking over low heat until chocolate has melted. Season to taste. Wash and core the apples (keep skin on for crunchiness and color), cut into quarters and into fine juliennes. Pour/smear half of the chocolate sauce on each plate and create a pattern of your choice with spatula (or your finger) or spoon. Arrange the apple juliennes in the middle of the plate. Cut the duck breasts into one-inch slices on a bias. Place on top of apples. Pour the remaining chocolate sauce and serve immediately. Frozen green peas can be prepared in a flash and make a splendid accompaniment to this meal. Serve them in small side dish bowls. Note: You can replace the apples with Comice pears as long as they are not too ripe to retain the “craquant” or crispness that adds to the various textures of ingredients.