Makes 4 servings
Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Total preparation time: 30 minutes
4 Pekin duck breast halves
Kosher salt and freshly milled black pepper
1 cup seedless grapes, halved, plus 4 small bunches for garnish
3 large shallots or 1/2 small onion, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger (use a Microplane)
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup canned chicken broth
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon currant jelly
Score the duck skin in a crisscross pattern and season the duck with salt and pepper.
Heat a large skillet over medium low heat until hot. Add the duck breasts, skin side down and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the skin looks very crisp. Do not pour off the fat; the liquid fat in the pan helps to render out the fat in the skin.
When the duck skin is crisp transfer the duck to a plate, pour off almost all of the fat, reserving it, but leave 2 teaspoons in the skillet. Return the duck to the skillet, meat side down and cook for 3 minutes more for medium rare. Remove the duck to a clean plate, skin side up; cover it loosely with foil and let it rest while you make the sauce.
Add 2 tablespoons of the reserved duck fat to the skillet (reserve the remaining fat for another use, such as sauteeing vegetables) Heat over high heat until hot; reduce the heat to medium and add the halved grapes, shallots, and ginger to the skillet. Cook for 3 minutes; add the vinegar and let it simmer until reduced by half. Add the broth, mustard, and jelly and simmer until thickened slightly, about 2 minutes.
Add any juices that have accumulated on the duck plate and salt and pepper to taste.
Slice the duck at an angle into 1/4-inch slices and serve each portion topped with some of the sauce.
Garnish each with a small bunch of grapes.