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Pan Seared Sonoma County Duck Breast from The Farmhouse Inn

This recipe was provided by Chef Steve Litke and Sous Chefs Joe Giunti and Neil Corsten at Farmhouse Inn in Forestville, CA. Locally grown Reichardt Family Liberty Ducks are some of the best in California. They are very consistent in quality, organically raised, and have superb flavor. The organic chipotles come from Tierra Farms and give the garnet yam a very unusual smoky heat, which matches well with the wild huckleberry sauce. This pairs perfectly with Inman Family Olivet Grange Pinot Noir.

1 1/2 lbs. garnet yams, unpeeled
2 tsp. chipotle powder
4 oz. butter
2 TB. granulated sugar (for sauce)
4 TB. water (for sauce)
3 TB. sherry vinegar
2 c. strong duck stock (or chicken stock)
1 large pint huckleberries (can use blueberries, blackberries, or black cherries)
3 ripe quinces, peeled and diced
1 1/2 c. water (for vanilla poached quince)
1 1/2 c. sugar (for vanilla poached quince)
1 vanilla bean (for vanilla poached quince), split and scraped
4 boneless Liberty duck breasts, skin scored in a cross-hatch pattern
8 TB. chipotle-garnet yam puree

For the Chipotle-Garnet Yam Puree: Bake yams at 375 degrees until fully cooked and soft. Let cool until just warm. Peel and place in food processor with butter and chipotle powder. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm. For the sauce, caramelize sugar and water until dark golden brown. Deglaze with vinegar and reduce by half. Simmer for 1/2 hour over very low heat. Skim often. Strain and press berries to extract juice. Salt and pepper to taste.

For the Vanilla Poached Quince: combine sugar, water, vanilla bean and quince in stainless steel pot. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat. Cool quince in syrup.

To prepare the duck: Season duck with salt and pepper. Preheat heavy sauté pan, add duck, skin side down. Cook on medium heat until most of the fat has rendered from the skin. Flip over and turn heat off. Let cook 2-3 minutes until duck breast is medium-rare to medium. Remove from pan and let rest. To plate, place 2 T. chipotle-yam puree in center of plate, slice duck very thin, and fan out around yam puree. Spoon huckleberry sauce around duck breast and sprinkle vanilla poached quince around the plate.

Serves 4