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Cut diagional slits through the skin and fat, but not into the meat. Into the slits, place hydrated green peppercorns, then sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. If you buy the dry ones, hydrate them by soaking them in Cognac. Preheat the oven to 150 degerees. Take a heavy cast iron skillet and add a very tiny bit of peanut oil. You're not going to fry these; you're going to pan sear them and the tiny bit of oil is to help prevent sticking. Heat the the pan over high heat til the oil just begins to smoke then add the breast skin side down and cover and sear for three minutes, then turn and sear the meat side for three minutes, then turn once more and sear for two minutes. If they're thin, use 1 minute for the last period instead of 2.

Remove the magret and place on a platter. Cover with aluminum foil and place in the oven to keep warm. Add 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan, then 2 minced shallots. Stir with a flat-bottomed spatula. Don't let the shallots brown. Over high heat, it'll just take a minute or two. Then add maybe 2 or 3 ounces of Cognac and either flame or boil the alcohol off, stirring all the while to remove the seared particles from the pan bottom. Then add 3 ounces of dry Sherry. Reduce the liquid by about half and then add 4 ounces of heavy cream and 2 ounces of a good cream, Oloroso, or Amontillado Sherry and continue heating over high heat, adding the liquid accumulating on the duck platter to the pan. When the sauce begins to thicken watch carefully. The bubbles in the boiling sauce will begin to get larger. Remove it from the heat immediately or the sauce will separate. Stir in 1 tablespoon of a good Dijon mustard and spoon over the magrets. The duck should be medium rare. If not, adjust your time the next time you make this, and you will make this again.
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Originally posted by wineismylife:
Board-O, having prepared and served this before, is there any particular varietal and style of wine you'd serve with it?

This is one dish that you could serve with almost any red, though I might not choose the biggest young Zins or Syrahs. When I made this last month for the BHVineyards, TBirds, and another couple, I served it with a 2002 Belle Glos Clark & Telephone Vineyard pinot Noir and 1978 Griotte-Chambertin from Joseph Drouhin. I don't know that Pinot Noir is the very best pairing, but for BHVineyard I wanted to open some. A well-aged Bordeaux or Rhone would probably be my first choice, maybe a mature California Cab. You could actually serve this with a number of big whites, like a Viognier or Chardonnay with good weight, or maybe a Riesling with a little sweetness to it.
Bella, if you're using green peppercorns, they mustn't be dried when you cook with them. If you buy dried, you have to soak them in a liquid to bring out their flavor. I use Cognac.

Magret is breast of Muscovy duck. It doesn't have the texture of fowl. It has the feel and texture of veal.

My favorite sauce of all is green peppercorn sauce.
It's not idfficult. Try it once at home without company to get it right. There are two areas where trouble can occur:

1. It's easy to overcook the magret. Time it carefully, and make adjustments after you do it once ore twice.

2. The sauce will separate if kept on high heat for much time after the bubbles become bigger. My best advice is to do the following: Prepare this dish as in the recipe, but leave some of the sauce in the pan and continue to cook over high heat til it separates, watching it carefully. Once you see what it looks like just before it separates, you won't do it again.
Made the beef tenderloin version of this tonight. It was very good, I thought I had too much sauce when I plated it, but both my wife and I had clean plates when done - very tasty.

One question though, and maybe I'm missing something here, but shouldn't green peppercorn sauce have green peppercorns in it? I studded the beef with the green peppercorns but the recipe did not call for any in the sauce.

Thanks for the recipe Board-O. This is pretty easy, quick and delicious. I'll be making this again, for company next time.

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