Duck Breasts with Vanilla Onion Confit
Peel the onions and cut into thin wedges. Rinse the duck breasts, pat dry and season with salt and pepper. Score the skin side of the duck breasts crosswise with a sharp knife. Heat a large pan and sear the duck breasts, skin-side down for 4-5 minutes. Turn and sear the other side for 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking the duck breasts for 10-12 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.
Pour the excess fat from the pan into a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Add the onions to the saucepan and sauté briefly. Cut the vanilla beans in half lengthwise, scrape out the seeds and add to the saucepan. Add the brown sugar and continue cooking for 8-10 minutes, until caramelized. Season with salt and pepper.
Rinse the thyme, pat dry, remove the leaves and chop finely. Add the chopped thyme and duck stock to the caramelized onions. Bring to a boil and cook down by about half.
Slice the duck breasts, transfer to plates, spoon the vanilla onion confit over the duck breasts and serve.