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Robert Painter's Cajun Duck over Creole Grit Pancakes with Bourbon Pecan Currant Sauce

Originally aired

INGREDIENTS
  • For the Cajun Seasoning:
  • 7 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 6 tablespoons salt
  • 6 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons onion powder
  • 3 tablespoons cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 3 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 3 teaspoons dried sweet basil
  • 3 teaspoons chili powder
  • 6 to 8 duck breasts
  • 3 cups olive oil, divided
  • Bourbon Pecan Currant Sauce
  • Creole Grit Pancakes
  • For the Bourbon Pecan Currant Sauce:
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup finely diced shallot
  • 3/4 cup bourbon
  • Juice and zest of 4 blood oranges or 1 1/2 cups no pulp orange juice
  • 1 cup duck stock or demi-glaze
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons finely ground pecans
  • 3 tablespoons currants
  • Salt and pepper
  • For the Creole Grit Pancakes:
  • 1/2 cup Basic Boiled Grits (recipe below)
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled plus additional
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-propose flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 pound bacon
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ripe tomato, diced
  • For the Boiled Grits:
  • 1 cups stone-ground grits
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Salt, to taste
PREPARATION

For the Cajun Duck:

Mix all ingredients for Cajun seasoning well and set aside.

Place the duck skin side up. Using a sharp knife, score 4 1/4-inch deep cuts across the skin at a 45 degree angle. In a medium bowl, mix three quarters of the Cajun seasoning with 2 cups of oil. Add duck breasts and marinate for at least 6 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350F. Remove breasts from marinade and sprinkle remaining Cajun seasoning on meat side only.

Heat large skillet over high heat. Add duck breasts, skin side down, and cook 5 minutes, until skin is brown and crispy. Flip breasts over and cook for 2 more minutes. Transfer duck breasts, skin side up, to a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake on the top rack of the oven for 6 minutes, to an internal temp of 125F.

Remove duck from the oven and let rest. Slice each breast at a 45 degree angle into 1/4-inch-thick strips. Place in a fan-like pattern over Creole Grit Pancakes with Bourbon Pecan Currant Sauce spooned over the top. Serve immediately.

For the Bourbon Pecan Currant Sauce:

In a medium sauce pot, melt butter and saut shallots until soft. Add bourbon and allow alcohol to burn off. Stir in orange juice, zest, duck stock and brown sugar. After sugar is dissolved, add pecans and currants. Bring to simmer and remove from heat. Pour sauce into blender and blend until currants are a fine consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For the Creole Grit Pancakes:

Beat the grits with egg yolks until smooth. Stir in the buttermilk and butter. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, soda and a pinch of salt together. Stir the flour mixture into the batter. Beat the egg whites to soft peaks and gently fold them into the batter.

Cut bacon into small pieces and cook until well done, then drain off excess fat and set aside. In a large skillet over high heat, saut diced onion in olive oil until translucent and set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and lightly butter. Drop the batter by the tablespoonful (to the size you desire) into the skillet, sprinkle a little of the cooked bacon, onion and diced tomato on top. Cook until bubbles begin to break the surface, about 2 minutes. Turn and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes more. Repeat with the remaining batter.

For the Boiled Grits:

Pour grits into a large bowl and cover with cold water. Skim off the chaff as it floats to surface. Stir the grits and skim again until all the chaff has been removed. Drain the grits in a sieve. Bring 4 cups water to a boil in medium-sized saucepan. Add the salt and slowly stir in the grits. Cook at a simmer, stirring frequently, until the grits are done, about 40 minutes. Remove the grits from the heat and stir in the butter.

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