6 boneless White Pekin duck breast halves, skin scored
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
5 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 scallion, minced
1 teaspoon chopped oregano
1 teaspoon chopped sage
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons chopped thyme
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup Zinfandel
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons minced onion
4 teaspoons sugar
One 2-inch strip of lemon zest
14 dried Mission figs, quartered
How to Make It
Arrange the duck breasts in a large baking dish, skin side up. In a bowl, whisk 2 tablespoons each of the olive oil and vinegar with the honey, scallion, oregano, sage, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon of the thyme, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and 1/4 teaspoon of allspice. Pour the marinade over the duck breasts and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours, turning after 2 hours. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the wine, broth and onion with the remaining garlic, the sugar, zest, 1/2 teaspoon of the thyme and a pinch of allspice. Bring to a boil and add the figs. Reduce the heat to moderately low, cover and simmer until the figs are just soft, about 25 minutes. Discard the zest.
Puree one-third of the fig mixture in a food processor, then return to the saucepan. Stir in the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of thyme and 3 tablespoons of vinegar and season with salt; keep warm.
Remove the duck from the marinade; pat dry. Season lightly with salt. In each of 2 medium skillets, heat 2 tablespoons of the remaining olive oil. Add the duck to the skillets, skin side down, and cook over moderately high heat until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Turn, reduce the heat to moderate and cook until medium rare, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer to a cutting board and let stand for 5 minutes. Thinly slice the duck on the diagonal and serve with the fig sauce