Chef David Tanis
Chef David Tanis joins Martha to prepare a perfect early-autumn meal of savory duck breasts with baked figs.
Using a mortar and pestle or spice mill, finely grind peppercorns, allspice, juniper, cloves, and bay leaves. Transfer to a small bowl; add salt and stir to combine. Season both sides of each duck breast with spice mixture, rubbing spice into the flesh using your fingers.
Place one duck breast on top of a second duck breast, skin sides out. Using butcher's twine, tie duck breasts together firmly; repeat process with remaining duck breasts. Wrap each with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place duck breasts in a shallow roasting pan and allow them to come to room temperature. Transfer roasting pan to oven and roast for 15 minutes. Carefully pour off fat and discard.
Turn duck breasts and continue roasting until browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast reads 125 degrees, about 15 minutes more.
Carefully pour off any fat and discard. Let duck breasts stand 10 to 15 minutes. Remove twine and slice duck breasts crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Arrange slices on a warmed platter with baked figs. Drizzle with vinegar and serve.