Wild Duck Skewers with Apricot Dipping Sauce

duckskewersQuack!

Is that too much already? I needed to get it out of my system.

This is my very first duck dish, you guys. First time I’ve made it and possibly first time I’ve eaten it. We got some wild duck breasts from a friend (thanks, Joe!) and they sat in my freezer for awhile.. just waiting until I was brave enough to cook them. And then they sat in the fridge thawing for awhile.. as I tried to decide what in the world to do with them. #firstworldproblems

Which brings us to skewers. When you don’t know what to do with something, just put it on a stick. (New life motto in progress).

Any brainiac would tell you to put these on the grill, but I am a lazy person (we have a charcoal grill, haha) so I did them in the oven along with some squash that didn’t make the photo. While they were quickly cooking, I made the apricot dipping sauce on the stove. The original plan was actually to put halved apricots on the skewers like I saw in this beautiful post, but I waited too long and the apricots got a bit soft, so I went with sauce instead. Just a little change of plans.

Honestly, I was a little nervous about how the duck would turn out. The breasts had the fat removed, so all of the typical duck cooking advice did not apply and I was afraid it would be dry and bland. The meat ended up being quite flavorful- even the kids were eating off sticks like little cave people. It was kind of a giant mess, but very entertaining at the time. I think next time I would actually baste the skewers with the sauce when they come out of the oven to help the duck retain some moisture- so definitely try that out the next time you’re skewering some duck. It won’t cut down on the mess, but I think it would take the dish up a notch.

These random freezer-clean-out meals have been stretching my culinary comfort zone. It’s been fun, but kind of exhausting mentally. I’m ready to start fresh.

Wild Duck Skewers with Apricot Dipping Sauce
 
 

Author:
Recipe type: Main Dish
Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 2 lb duck breasts, trimmed
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar (make sure there is no added sugar for GAPS)
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter or coconut oil
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 6 apricots, pitted and chopped
  • juice of ½ orange
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (consider removing this or making homemade mustard for true GAPS or paleo)
  • chopped parsley, for serving

Instructions
  1. A few hours (or up to a day) before you’re ready to cook, marinate the duck in the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use. Soak your wooden skewers in water, if using.
  2. Prepare your grill or preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Prepare the sauce- heat the butter in a saucepan and saute the onion until it begins to soften. Add the apricots and cook until they begin to break down. Add the orange juice, honey, mustard and season with salt and pepper. Continue cooking as the duck cooks. Puree with a stick blender if you like a smoother sauce.
  4. Cut the duck breasts into small chunks and place on skewers. Grill for just a few minutes on each side or bake in the oven for 5-10 minutes per side. Try not to overcook the duck- it’s okay for it to be pink. Baste with the sauce if you like and serve immediately with the chopped parsley.

 

 

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