This is really a simple recipe. I have some semi-esoteric ingredients in here, like black walnuts and squash seed oil, but you can easily substitute regular walnuts and something like sunflower oil or walnut oil. The wild rice pilaf is just as good at room temperature, so you can make is ahead of time, and eat leftovers for lunch the next day.
A healthy drizzle of good oil,such as squash seed oil or sunflower oil
1to 2 pounds skin-on duck breasts
A drizzle of pontack or balsamic vinegar
Take the duck breasts out of the fridge and salt them well. Set aside for now. Soak the dried mushrooms in the hot water and set aside for 20 minutes. When the mushrooms are soft enough, chop them well. Strain the soaking water through a paper towel that has been set inside a sieve. Save the water for cooking the rice.
Heat the duck fat for the rice in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute the onions until they are just beginning to brown on the edges, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and rice and saute another minute or two. Add the dried cranberries, then the stock and 1 cup of the soaking water. Add salt to taste. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the rice is cooked, about 20 minutes.
You might need to drain the rice; different rices soak up different amounts of liquid while cooking. Drain and move to a large bowl. Add the walnuts and parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle the oil over the pilaf and mix well.
Pat the duck breasts dry with paper towels. Put the remaining duck fat into a large frying pan. If your ducks are fat, turn the heat to medium-high and lay the duck breasts in the pan as soon as the fat melts. If your ducks are skinny, wait until the pan is hot before putting in the duck breasts. Cook the duck breasts skin side down at a steady sizzle (think about how bacon sounds when it's cooking and you have the idea), until the skin has browned nicely, about 5 to 8 minutes.
Turn the breasts and cook on the meat side for 2 to 4 minutes, using the finger test for doneness to determine; you are looking for medium-rare. Take the duck breasts out and grind black pepper over them. Let them rest for 5 to 8 minutes before slicing. Drizzle some pontack or balsamic vinegar over them before serving with the rice and a vegetable of your choice.