Wine Pairing: Rex Goliath Pinot Noir
Preheat: oven to 400°F.
Trim and Score the Duck: Trim excess fat from the edges of the duck breasts and reserve. Place the duck breasts on a work surface, skin side up. Using a sharp knife, score the skin in a grid pattern, going through half the thickness of the skin/fat but not all the way through the meat. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the fat. Season the skin side of the duck generously with salt.
Fig-Shallot Compote: In a large saucepan over medium heat, add the 2 tablespoons of the duck fat. When the fat has rendered (skin will look shriveled and start browning), remove any pieces of duck skin or meat, leaving the rendered fat in the pan. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, 10 minutes. Add the wine, Marsala, chicken stock, figs, lemon zest, sugar, cloves, salt and pepper. Cook at medium heat until the figs are very soft but still retain their shape, about 30 minutes. Then increase the heat to high and simmer until the sauce thickens, 5 minutes. Set aside.
Sear Roast the Duck: Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the duck breasts, skin side down. Season the other side of the breast with salt. Cook until the skin is golden and much of the fat from the skin is rendered. Transfer to a sheet pan, skin side up. When all the breasts have been seared, transfer the sheet pan to the oven. Cook until the duck breasts are medium, 135F – 140°F, about 8-10 minutes.
To serve: Remove the duck from the oven. Serve the duck breast with a spoonful of the fig sauce on top. Garnish with a sprig of parsley.