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Ducky dish is a snap

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Duck Breasts Provencale

Duck Breasts Provencale

Associated Pressassociated Press

A menu that includes duck could convey a nice sense of occasion. Happily for cooks, this doesn't call for advanced skills or hours of your time.

The following recipe is one that a home cook can prepare in under 20 minutes — but that doesn't include reading the recipe carefully first and doing the requisite shopping for ingredients.

The duck breasts are served with polenta for a Provencal flavor, rich with Mediterranean nuances. This doesn't mean a caloric overload; duck breast is a good source of lean protein, as low in calories as chicken breast.

Serving suggestion: Serve with green beans or wilted spinach.


(Preparation 5 minutes, cooking time 15 minutes)

1 precooked polenta log (about 1 pound)

4 White Pekin duck breast halves (6 ounces each)

2 teaspoons herbes de Provence blend

1/4 teaspoon olive oil

1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

1/4 cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives

1/4 cup chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes

1 tablespoon capers, rinsed

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Heat oven to 425 F.

Bring large pot of water to boil; cook polenta log according to package directions while preparing duck and sauce.

With small, sharp knife, remove skin from duck breasts. Season breasts on both sides with herbes de Provence. In 10-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add breasts; brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer breasts in one layer to baking dish or another skillet and place in oven; cook about 6 minutes for rare, 8 minutes for medium-rare and 10 minutes for medium, turning breasts once after 4 minutes.

While breasts are in the oven, make pan sauce. Pour off fat from skillet breasts were browned in. Add chicken broth, olives, tomatoes and capers; simmer until liquid is reduced to about 1/2 cup.

Remove polenta log from water; open package and mound polenta on 4 plates, dividing it equally. Cut each breast crosswise on a slight angle into 4 to 5 slices about 1/2-inch thick; fan 1 breast over polenta on each plate and spoon sauce over duck and polenta. Sprinkle with parsley.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 193 cal., 5 g fat, 136 mg chol., 401 mg sodium, 8 g carbo., 1 g fiber, 28 g pro. Recipe for AP developed by the Duckling Council.