Last month I was in a recipe challenge hosted by Hidden Valley Ranch. It was my first challenge and I was looking forward at giving it a go. The recipe I submitted was a naan pizza – the link is here. I found out a couple weeks ago that I was the runner up. The prize I got was a gift certificate from Williams Sonoma. I went shopping there last night and let me tell you – I LOVE Williams Sonoma!
Today I am sharing a recipe which I am submitting for another recipe challenge. This time it is for Courvoisier Cognac. I decided that I wanted to pair cognac with some pomegranate juice and reduce it to a wonderful sauce that would go great with duck breast. I love duck, especially when the skin from the breast is crackly. Delish!!
One portion of the contest is public voting. People are able to log onto the Courvoisier website and vote once a day until August 24th. Here is the link:
To go with the duck breast I made some ravioli with wonton wrappers. I love the versatility of wonton wrappers. They can be molded and baked and used as crispy cups to hold things, they can be boiled, steamed and deep fried. Using them to make ravioli is one more wonderful way to use these wrappers and a great option for people not comfortable making fresh pasta from scratch.
Stuffed in the ravioli is a cognac duxelle stuffing. Duxelle stuffing is a mixture made by cooking mushrooms and shallots in white wine. I included some cognac as the stuffing simmered and it added to the flavour wonderfully.
To go with the duck breast and ravioli I made some basil pesto and a pomegranate cognac reduction sauce. Both sauces worked well with both the duck bast and ravioli and they also complimented each other very well.
Duck Breast and Cognac Duxelle Ravioli
- 4 duck breasts (boneless with skin on)
- 24 round wonton wrappers
- 2 egg yolks
- 3 tbsp butter
- 4 cups finely diced mushrooms (button, crimini and Portobello)
- 1 cup minced shallots
- 5 garlic cloves
- 1 cup white wine
- 8 tbsp Courvoisier VS cognac
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves , packed
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 2 cups pomegranate juice
- 4 tbsp white sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- Make the duxelle stuffing by melting the butter in a saucepan. Add the diced mushrooms and cook on medium heat for 3 minutes. Add the minced shallots, 3 garlic cloves, minced, and salt. Cook for another 5 minutes. Add the white wine and 4 tbsp Courvoisier cognac, bring to a boil and simmer until the liquid is evaporated, about 20-30 minutes. Cool completely.
- Make the pesto by adding the basil, 2 garlic cloves and pine nuts to a food processor. Turn on the food processor and slowly pour in the olive oil until incorporated and the pesto is fairly smooth.
- Make the pomegranate cognac sauce by adding the pomegranate juice, 4 tbsp Courvoisier cognac and white sugar to a saucepan. Bring to a boil and lower heat to a simmer so that it is lightly boiling. Reduce the liquid until it is about ½ cup of sauce. This takes about 30 minutes.
- Make the ravioli by laying down one round wonton wrapper. Place one spoonful of cognac duxelle stuffing in the centre of the wonton wrapper, leaving about ½ inch of space around the edge of the wrapper. Using a pastry brush, brush some egg yolk along the edge of the wonton wrapper. Place another wonton wrapper on top of the one with the stuffing. Press down over the stuffing and seal along the edge allowing the egg yolk to seal the two wrappers together. Make sure that any air in the ravioli has been pressed out during the sealing. Place the ravioli in boiling water and cook for 3-4 minutes so that they are tender. Drain.
- To cook the duck breast, score the skin with a knife making sure not to go through the entire skin. Sprinkle both sides of the duck breast with some salt. Place the duck breasts on a cold skillet. Turn the heat to medium. The duck will begin to cook and the fat from the skin will start to render. Cook for about 4 minutes, so that the skin crisps and browns up. Flip the duck breasts over and sear the underside for about 1 minute. Flip the duck breasts once again so they are skin side down. Put the skillet in a 400F oven and cook for 6-8 minutes. Remove from the oven and flip the duck breasts over and rest them for 5 minutes. Slice the duck breasts.
- Assemble the plates by brushing on the pesto and drizzling on the pomegranate cognac sauce. Place the one sliced duck breast and three ravioli per plate.