"The best times you are going to have in life are at the dinner table and in bed." Old Italian saying. So relax, and enjoy the simple things!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Duck Breasts with Fresh Peaches #French Fridays with Dorie

Duck Breasts with Fresh Peaches: Simple Living and Eating

When I was about 12 years old my parents went on a vacation together. I think it was their 25th wedding anniversary. They left me with my oldest sister and enough money for a week's worth of groceries. My oldest sister is not particularly domestic, and I'm guessing that the thought of cooking dinner for herself and her little sister for a week did not truly appeal to her... so she came up with a brilliant idea! 

"Diane, wouldn't it be cool to get dress up and go out to a fancy restaurant."

"I guess so."

"Well, we can. Mommy left us enough money to pay for a really great dinner in a French restaurant. We can go... have a great time, and then eat peanut butter and jelly for the rest of the week."


Well, she must have really sold it to me as a great adventure, because I agreed to go... and to this day 36 years later, I remember the restaurant was ironically named, Poor Lads, and I had the Duck with a Cherry Sauce and Chocolate Mousse for dessert. It was truly worth eating peanut butter and jelly for a week.


Duck Breasts with Fresh Peaches: Simple Living and Eating

Now here I am all grown up and cooking duck for the first time (We did have it a few times before, but my husband the hunter cooked it.) Even though the procedure was simple for cooking, pan searing.. I was still nervous...I mean it's duck, not chicken, it is a special occasion fowl.. and here I was cooking it casually on a week night... I feel so French (not really).

The duck was thoroughly enjoyed...especially by my husband and my son. My daughter and I liked it but we were more into the cooked peaches. I ignored Dorie's direction to discard the garlic and thyme (I'm from New England: we don't discard anything.) I just scooped it on to the peaches and they were heaven.


Will I make this dish again... yes, for company or maybe when my kids get a little older my husband and I will leave them with enough money to make the dish and fly off to Paris and eat duck there...

Here is a similar recipe Barbary Duck with Glazed Peaches... but if you want the real recipe I highly suggest getting the cookbook: Around My French Table. You won't regret it.


Note: As a member of French Friday's with Dorie I am not allowed to print the recipe. I invite you to take a look at this wonderful cookbook "Around My French Table" if you are interested in this or any other recipe I review. 


Click here to see how the other Dorista's did.






This post is being shared on the following food/craft parties. Please check them out: 


Tuesday Food:
Hearth & Soul Blog Hop @ Premeditated Leftovers
Totally Tasty Tuesday @ Mandy's Recipe Box
Show Me What You Got @ Our Delightful Home
In & Out of the Kitchen @ Feeding Big & More
Tuesday's Table @ Love in the Kitchen
Tuesday Talent Show @ Chef in Training
Tasty Tuesday # Lori's Culinary Creations
Wednesday Food:

Cast Party Wednesday @ Lady Behind the Curtain 
 Wednesday Whatsit @White Lights on Wednesday 
Fresh Foods Wednesdays @ Gastronomical Sovereignty
Show and Share @ Semi Homemade Mom
Wonderful Food Wednesdays at @ All She Cooks
Wednesday Extravaganza @ Hunger Little Girl
Wonderful Wednesdays @Ducks 'n a Row
Thursday Food:

Full Plate Thursday @ Miz Helen's Country Cottage
Link it Up Thursday @ Seven Alive
Fantastic Thursday @ Three Little Chiefs
Thriving on Thursdays @ Domesblissity
Tasty Thursdays @ The Mandatory Mooch

Friday Food:
Foodie Friday @ Home Maid Simple
Freedom Friday @ My Turn
Friday Favorite (DYI too) @ Simple Sweet Home
Foodie Friday @ Rattlebridge Farm 
Weekend Wonders @ The Thriftiness Miss
Friday Food Frenzy @ Mostly Food and Crafts 
Weekend Potluck @ Sunflower Supper Club
Friday Linky Party @ The Pin Junkie 

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34 comments:

  1. Looks great Diane. We have duck on rare occasions and I like to keep it that way - in the same way that every day can't be Christmas or Christmas wouldn't be the same.

    Dan

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    1. I hear you Dan... it's also kinda of rich, so occasionally works better for me too.

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  2. Hey, I just hopped over to your site via StumbleUpon. Not somthing I would normally read, but I liked your thoughts none the less. Thanks for making something worth reading.
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  3. I have never made duck for dinner, or a special occasion. I might just have to give it a try because that looks delicious. I love the addition of the peaches, I'm on a peach kick right now :) I like your sister's thinking, maybe we should all give that a try every once in a while

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    Replies
    1. Lisa you can cook duck breast no problem... it really is like cooking chicken it's just a little fattier.

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  4. Such a cool story. I have never had duck...but it looks very interesting....

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    Replies
    1. Duck tastes like fatter chicken thigh meat.

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  5. Ha - great story. Older siblings can be fun (and a challenge).
    (We kept the garlic and herbs as well - I am with you on the "don't discard" front)

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    1. I have 3 older siblings and I have been pulled in many directions in my life from them... fun and challenging.
      Yes, the garlic was delicious on top of the peaches would have been a shame to throw it out.

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  6. Oh, Diane, I enjoyed this Post so much. Your sister must be a real adventurer. I would never have had the nerve to disobey my parents or be sophisticated enough to want to go to a French restaurant. Your Mom must have been a good cook (among all her other talents) to have nurtured both you and your sister's palates to that degree. Good ordering, Diane. And, the New England bit. In the midwest we never wasted a damn thing. I still wash out my baggies whether Oprah does or not! And I live in a dark house because my Mother always would say, "We're not supportiung the Utilities" as she would go through the rooms and shut off the lights. I kept my duck fat and garlic and thyme to use when I make new potatoes (after a visit to the Farmer's Market on Saturday) next week. Once again, loved the Post.

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    1. I've always liked Midwesterners a practical bunch like New Englanders. My mom was a pretty good cook. She worked as a nurse and raised 4 kids with an ill husband so her time in the kitchen was limited. Her mother on the other hand was an amazing cook both baking and savory dishes... I can remember the smell of almost every think she made.

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  7. I'm SO glad Dorie gives detailed instructions...duck is something I've messed up before, but this was a winner. Cute story about you and your sister :)

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    1. Dorie isn't always the best with instructions but I did find this duck pretty easy to make.

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  8. Your dish looks amazing Diane, and I loved your story! I'm starting to leave my daughter to look after her 13 year old brother and I think it would be wonderful to have an adventure like that! I didn't make this dish and am regretting it!

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  9. My parents would have my grandparents 'move in' with us whenever they wanted to have an adults only vacation. If only we could have pulled of a stunt like that!

    I'm also in the 'do not discard anything camp' there was so much flavor in that garlic and thyme sprig!

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    1. I don't think any of us go on adult only vacations when we have kids... I never hear of it anymore. Yes, my parents were very trusting... or really in need of break.

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  10. Ha! I love your story. I would take up PB&J anytime to eat duck at a fancy French restaurant.
    And I don't discard anything either ;)

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    1. Yes, it was worth it. I could see my son doing it. But he would live on nutella sandwiches for the rest of the week.

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  11. I just don't think I agree that this dish is only for fancy occasions. I do think you made a wise choice as a girl to live it up and get that experience. PBJ isn't all that bad anyway.

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    1. I find duck rich... all the fat, so I can only eat it occasionally. But this recipe is easy enough to make any time.

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  12. Diane -how funny, I discarded the garlic and thyme but didn't want to, it seemed silly to toss such a good ingredient.

    What a fun childhood dining memory.

    I love your setting and the vibrant colors of the fabric - it brightens my day!

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    1. First rule of being a Dorista... don't always listen to Dorie.
      Thank you on the setting... I love bright Mediterranean prints.. they brighten up my day too.

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  13. Diane, I loved the story of you and your sister. A lovely childhood memory! I think it was worth the price of peanut butter and jelly for a week!
    Your duck and peaches look great…it definitely is a company meal. We really enjoyed this one! A winner for sure!

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    1. Thanks Kathy,
      Trevor can eat this every night I'm sure... but I find it to be rich... I could put the peach topping on chicken thought... that might be a lighter version?

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  14. Diane, your story cracked me up. I was the older sister and I don't think eating in a fancy restaurant would have ever occurred to me when I was left in charge of my sisters. Your house must have been a fun place!
    Seared duck breasts have become my go-to special occasion meal (replacing lamb) since I discovered this technique in Dorie's book. The peaches were a revelation too.

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    1. My oldest sister is still quite an adventurous person. She was a professional dancer and a bit of a bohemian. I'm the conservative on in the family... but at least someone cooks... LOL

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  15. I love the story behind this dish! Your sister sounds a bit like me - I'll happily eat PB&J for a few meals to go somewhere really special :) Your Duck Breasts with Fresh Peaches look absolutely gorgeous. I think, like you, I would probably enjoy the peaches most of all. I used to love duck but unfortunately was ill after eating it when I was 13 and have never really enjoyed it since! My husband and so many of our friends love it though so this is the perfect recipe for me to keep on hand as I know I could make it for them and just eat the peaches! Although I appreciate I'll need to share the peaches...perhaps I could double the peach part of the recipe ;) Thank you for sharing this lovely dish with the Hearth and Soul hop.

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    1. Oh, a bad duck experience, just like a bad seafood experience can definitely ruin your appetite for it. Try the peaches on some chicken... you'll love the peaches. Yes, April I can see the adventurous food side of you... you would make a great older sister, though I think we are about the same age.

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  16. Diane, I love that story! And yes, it sounds totally worth the week of PB and J. I had duck for the first time at a fancy restaurant when I was a teen. I didn't realize it would come to me as an entire duck, beak and all. That was quite the surprise, but it was so delicious I didn't look back. I have never made duck at home but this recipe looks like a good place to start :)

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    1. Beak and all... wow, I think that is more intense than a fish with it's head still on! You are a brave eater to still like duck.. I'm impressed.

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  17. This looks awesome! I love cooking duck, but it feels like such a shame to just treat it like chicken. Thanks for the cool recipe! I'm from SC and we have lots and lots of peaches. =)

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    1. Well, the peaches make it really special.

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  18. Hi Diane,
    I love your Duck and your story,go to Paris and leave the kids a recipe, have fun! Hope you are having a great weekend and thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday!
    Come Back Soon
    Miz Helen

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