Take, for instance, today's recipe.
The cool autumn temperatures bring new harvest items like apples and squash into play that weren't as readily available during the hot summer months. This makes them perfect candidates for grilling!
So, without further explanation, let's dig into this one, shall we?
Here's What You'll Need:
- 2 Duck Breasts
- 1 Butternut Squash (1/2" cubed)
- 2 Apples (1/2" cubed)
- 4T Bourbon
- 1/4C Walnuts (crushed)
- 4T Brown Sugar
Got everything you need? Cool. Let's fire up the grill.
Step 1: Roast Your Squash
Cube up your butternut squash into 1/2" cubes, drizzle with olive oil, and roast in an oven at around 400º F for roughly 20 minutes. Remove when fork tender and set aside to cool.
Step 2: Preheat Your Grill
Get your grill preheated to around 450º F. We'll be cooking indirectly, so make sure you've got your indirect setup in place!
Step 3: Grill Your Duck Breast
Once the grill comes up to temp, season your duck breast with salt & pepper, and place it skin side up on the cool side of the grill. Having a meat thermometer is super helpful here as duck breast can easily over-cook. We're shooting for a medium temp here, so we'll set the temperature to alert us at about 120º F. This will allow the duck to continue cooking while it rests and hit an internal temp of 130º to 135º. Plus we're going to be searing in the next step which will increase the internal temp by roughly 5º.
Step 4: Sear Your Duck Breast
Didn't we just grill it? Yeah, we did - But the fattiness of a duck breast allows it to get super crispy when seared in a pan, so you'll have to trust me on this. Get your pan on medium heat (preferably cast iron or carbon steel), and place your duck breast skin-side down. You won't need any butter or oil as . there is more than enough fat to keep your duck breast from sticking. And we'll be utilizing that excess fat in the next step. (Do not discard the remaining fat!)
Cook your duck breast skin side down for about 3-4 minutes, or until it turns golden brown and crispy. Remove from the heat and let rest.
Step 5: Making the Hash
Using the same pan that the duck breast was seared in, set over medium heat, toss in your butternut squash and cubed apples and cook until the apples & squash are slightly tender (about 2 minutes).
Once tender, add in your brown sugar and cook until a slightly caramel consistency is obtained, then pour in your bourbon and cook down to where the sauce coats the butternut squash and apple hash.
Finish the hash by sprinkling with fresh crushed walnuts and serve with the sliced duck breast.
And that's it!
You now have a recipe in your arsenal that is perfect for a fall time cookout, and even works as a fancy Thanksgiving dish!
As always - Happy Grilling!