The last couple of Thanksgivings, I’ve opted for an alternative to turkey. This year I made ribs with a honey-pink peppercorn glaze. The ribs were fantastic, but I also found myself thinking “could I turn this glaze into an amazing sauce?” The answer, it turns out, is YES.
I made this with duck, as it tends to lend itself well to sweet sauce, but you could use this for other poultry or pork as well. Basically, you’re going to cook your duck, remove most of the fat from the pan, add in the sauce ingredients, and cook the sauce down until it’s nice and viscous. Strain it out, add the pink pepper, and voila! Epic sauce that will leave your significant other or dinner party guests shocked at how pro you are in the kitchen.
By the way, we’re going to throw some Buddha’s hand into the sauce as well. What is Buddha’s hand, you ask? Well, it’s a citrus that doesn’t really have any juice or actual fruit inside, it’s like a giant zest monster thing. But it’s super fragrant, and smells (and tastes) a lot like sweet lemons. Oh, and it looks like this:
- 2 duck breasts
- 1 T ground coriander
- 2 t salt
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 4 sage leaves
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 c honey
- 1 c chicken broth
- 1/2 c dry white wine
- 1/2 c Buddha’s hand zest
- 5 sprigs thyme
- 6 sage leaves
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 T cornstarch mixed with 2 T water
- 1 T ground pink pepper
- 1 t salt
- Score your duck like this, then season with coriander and salt:
- Heat your oven to 375 F.
- Get a heavy bottomed skillet going on med-high heat. Add the thyme, sage, and garlic. Once hot, add the duck fat side down. Cook for about 10 minutes on the fat side, and 5 minutes on the non-fat side. Remove from stove, resist the urge to baste, and stick in the oven for 5 more minutes.
- Move the duck to a cutting board, and let rest at least 10 minutes; this is when you make the sauce.
- Dump the excess fat into something you can toss in the trash (the fat will coagulate in your pipes and potentially cause blockages if you dump it down the sink), OR into something like a mason jar, cause you can totally save that fat to roast some potatoes in another time.
- Turn your skillet back on to medium-high heat. Add in the rest of the thyme, sage, and garlic, and let those brown a little (you should keep the other herbs from when you cooked your duck in the pan, unless they look totally spent).
- Add the broth, wine, honey, Buddha’s hand, and salt. Stir well.
- After about 5 minutes, add the cornstarch slurry and mix it in.
- Let reduce for another 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is nice and viscous.
- Remove from heat and strain into a bowl that has enough space for you to comfortably mix in the pepper.
- Grind your pink peppercorns and mix into the sauce.
- Slice your duck, lay some sauce down on your plate, and put the duck right on top of it.