Smoked blueberry and mint duck breast with grilled balsamic romaine hearts

By Bill Alexander
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Ingredients

  • 1 boneless duck breasts
  • 1 cups apple juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Blueberry mint sauce:

  • About 3-1/2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped mint

Smoked romaine hearts:

  • 1 head of romaine lettuce, the leafy outer leaves removed and sliced lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Course salt and fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup of smoked gouda
  • 30 millilitres balsamic glaze

Directions

  1. Mix the juice with all the salt, sugar and spices until the salt and sugar are dissolved.
  2. Lightly score just the fat with small diamonds
  3. Place the duck in a dish and pour in the brine. Turn the duck a couple times and cover the dish with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge and let the fish marinate for four hours
  4. Remove duck breasts from brine and wash completely. Then dry the breast and let sit out at room temperature while other preparations are done, and smoker is being set up.
  5. Place the duck breast on a smoker rack.
  6. Set the smoker to 250F using wood Cherry, or hickory are my favorites.
  7. Smoke the duck for around 2-1/2 – three hours or until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 150F.

Blueberry mint sauce:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients into a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, and then continue cooking for about ten minutes, or until the blueberries begin to pop and the compote has thickened.
  2. Let cool and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Smoked romaine hearts:

  1. Remove the leafy outer leaves of each head of romaine.
  2. Rinse the heads under cold water.
  3. Slice down the center lengthwise.
  4. Place flat side down and drizzle with olive oil and dust with granulated garlic, salt, and black pepper.
  5. Flip over and repeat the step above.
  6. Prepare the grill for high heat grilling.
  7. Place the half heads of romaine flat side down over the coals.
  8. Once the flat side has a nice blackened char (about two to three minutes depending on the heat of the grill) flip over and sear one side of the curved side.
  9. After two to three minutes rotate to char the other half of the curved side of the half head of romaine.
  10. Remove any leaves that come loose during the cooking process.
  11. Once the flat side and the curved side are charred, remove from the heat, plate, and sprinkle the grated smoked gouda cheese on the lettuce and finish with drizzled balsamic glaze.
  12. Top with sliced duck breast cut on a 45-degree angle and finish with blueberry mint sauce.
  13. Garnish with mint sprig and serve immediately

 

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