3 medium potatoes (1 pound/500 g)
Whipping cream (as needed)
Pinch of salt
Glob of butter
1 fresh pineapple
1 tablespoon (15 mL) butter
4 duck breasts
1/2 cup (125 mL) chicken stock
3/4 cup (175 mL) whipping cream
1 tablespoon (15 mL) Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons (30 mL) pink peppercorns
Pinch of salt
Fresh lemon or parsley for garnish (optional)
Peel, cook and drain potatoes. Add a little heated cream, salt and butter. Mash potatoes and stir until creamy. Keep warm while you continue the recipe.
Cut 4 slices of pineapple 1/2 inch (1 cm) thick; remove peel and woody centre. Melt butter in frying pan, and brown pineapple on both sides. Set aside and keep warm.
Prepare duck breasts:
Remove skin from duck breasts; cut skin into small pieces and fry over medium heat to render out fat. Strain fat and add 4 tablespoons (60 mL) to a heavy, heated frying pan.
Add duck breasts and cook over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes on each side. "It's recommended that thick, meaty duck breast be served medium-rare," says Petra. Remove duck to a warm platter, covering to keep warm.
Pour off any fat remaining in pan. Add stock, cream, mustard and peppercorns to the pan; boil for 2 to 3 minutes until sauce thickens slightly. Season to taste with salt. Pour any accumulated juices from the duck into the sauce. Slice the breasts diagonally.
To serve: place a pineapple slice on each of four warmed plates; arrange sliced duck on top and spoon sauce over them. Press mashed potatoes through a pastry bag onto plates. Garnish with a slice of lemon or sprig of parsley, if desired.
Makes 4 servings.
Petra says: "Green peppercorn sauce is popular in modern French bistros, but milder pink or red peppercorns can also be tasty, especially with poultry."