Seared Pepper Crusted Duck Breast
4 duck breasts, silver skin removed skin scored in crosshatch pattern
1 tablespoon pink peppercorns, crushed
1 tablespoon black peppercorns, crushed
1 tablespoon white peppercorns crushed
½ cup Armagnac
½ cup chicken stock
1 shallot minced
1 butternut squash about 1 pound, peeled diced into 1 inch cubes
½ cup water
20 Brussels sprouts, shaved thin
5 tablespoons butter
Pinch ground cinnamon
Pinch ground clove
Salt and pepper
Place the diced squash in a baking dish with ½ a cup of water, cover with foil and bake at 350°F until tender, about 45-60 minutes. Remove the squash when finished, let cool then puree in a blender until smooth. Reserve for use later.
Season the duck breasts with the pink, white, and black peppercorns on the skin side. Season the breasts with salt on both sides. Coat the bottom of a large sauté pan with olive oil and place over low heat, add the duck breasts skin side down and cook about 15 minutes or until skin is brown and crispy. When skin side is finished turn breasts on to flesh side and cook an additional two minutes or to desired doneness. Move the breasts to a cutting board to rest. Return the pan to high heat and add the shallots sauté for about 20 seconds; add the Armagnac, off the heat, to flame: caution pan will flame very high. Reduce until Armagnac is almost dry. Add the chicken stock and reduce by half, stir in 2 tablespoons of butter. Reserve to the side while duck rests.
While duck is resting place the squash puree in a sauté pan with a tablespoon of butter, the cinnamon, clove, salt and pepper; heat gently over low flame stirring occasionally. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat in a medium sauté pan, add the shaved Brussels sprouts and sauté about one minute stirring frequently add salt and pepper to taste.
Slice the duck thinly across the grain. Divide the squash puree and Brussels sprouts between the four plates. Fan the duck breasts over each plate and coat with the sauce.