3 ea. 12 oz. Liberty Farms Duck breasts, trimmed of excess fat
4 sprigs fresh thyme
24 ea. baby turnips with greens attached
1 tbsp. clarified butter
18 ea. Medjool dates, pitted and cut in 1/4s
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Ingredients for the sauce
2 tsp. unsalted butter
2 tbsp. shallots, sliced thin
1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper
2 tbsp. good quality honey
1 tbsp. ginger, peeled and minced
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 cup duck stock (you can substitute veal stock)
2 tbsp. cold unsalted butter
For the Turnips: Trim the greens off 1/2-inch above the turnips. Rinse the turnips and cut in 1/4s. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the turnips. Boil until slightly tender and still crunchy. Remove to an ice bath to chill. Once chilled remove from the water immediately and reserve. Separate the turnip leaves from the tough stems and rinse well, reserve.
For the Sauce: Melt the butter in a medium size saucepot over medium heat. Add the shallots and black pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until the shallots begin to caramelize. Add the honey and cook until the honey turns a deep caramel being careful you don’t let it burn. Add the ginger and vinegar, careful the honey will splatter, and reduce until syrupy. Add the duck stock and simmer until reduced to a sauce like consistency. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a clean saucepot and reserve.
Pre heat the oven to 400° degrees.
For the Duck: Season the duck breasts well with salt and black pepper. Heat a heavy bottomed large sauté pan (cast iron works well) over medium high heat and place the duck breasts in fat side down. Sauté, skin side down and pouring off the fat as it is released from the breasts until the skin is browned, approximately 4-5 minutes. Place the pan in the oven and roast until desired doneness. Approximately 3-4 minutes for medium rare. Remove the pan from the oven, add the thyme sprigs and turn the breasts over. Let the breasts rest in the pan, basting with the thyme and melted fat for a minute or two. Remove and reserve in a warm place.
To Finish: In a large sauté pan, heat the clarified butter over medium high heat. Add the turnips and sauté until lightly browned. Add the greens and the dates and heat through. Finish the sauce by whisking in the two tablespoons of butter. Divide the turnip mixture on the plates. Slice the duck breasts thinly and place on top of the turnip mixture and spoon the sauce around.