Duck, duck…

Sorry for my absence these past few weeks!

Don’t worry, I haven’t stopped cooking. I’ve been waiting for the proper moment to share these meals I’ve been making.

Okay, and I've been a little bit lazy.
But here they are in all their fowl glory. waterfowl that is.

Valentines Duck

preamble- My husband and I don’t really celebrate valentines day. We more or less recognize it as a day that a lot of other people celebrate, and we are along for the ride.

Even though we don’t exchange flowers and heartfelt notes on valentine’s day, It’s hard to resist wanting to cook a delicious meal. Especially since I work at a gourmet market and everyone and their mother was buying NY strips and french baguette to impress that special someone.

I opted for cooking duck breasts. I meant to grab two, but I accidentally bought four. Woops! (they were vacuum packed in sets of two breasts, but you couldn’t really tell by just looking at it)

My goal was to make a simple dish that you’d find in a French bistro. So I made Pan seared duck breast, a blood orange gastrique, sautéed kale with mushrooms and onions, and last but definitely not least, baked pommes frites.

I’m providing the recipe for the duck and the gastrique, both of which are so simple to make, but are sure to impress.

1. Start off by cross hatching the skin without piercing the muscle underneath. A pairing knife will help do the trick.

2. Season liberally with salt and pepper, at least 15-20 minutes before cooking. The salt will help draw out some moisture in the skin and make it nice and crispy

Cross hatched and seasoned.
Cross hatched and seasoned.

3. While You are letting your duck hang out on the counter, start making the Gastique. A Gatrique is a reduced sauce that is both sweet and sour. I made mine with

  1. blood orange juice      Four or five oranges
  2. chicken stock               2-3 Tablespoons
  3. red wine vinegar,        2-3 Tablespoons
  4. brown sugar                 2-3 Tablespoons
20150214_174346
Beautiful Blood Oranges.

Let them boil away until the reach a syrupy consistency. The reason I’m not super exact with my measurements is because I like to adjust the flavor if need be.

Back to the Duck.

Get your pan hot and ready. Lay the breast skin side down and let it sizzle away. The fat will render out and the skin will start to crisp up.

*note* If there is too much fat in the pan, hold the breasts in place with a pair of tongs while draining some of the fat into a container. (You can save the rendered fat for cooking with later!)

Golden and crispy! to be honest, i could have let them get a little bit darker.
Golden and crispy! to be honest, i could have let them get a little bit darker.

When they reach your desired temperature, (most people like duck breast medium rare, I like mine medium) let them sit and rest for a few minutes. slice them on the bias and plate them with your other accompaniments. Don’t forget the sauce!

Bon Apetit!
Bon Apetit!

Next up, duck breast  Bánh mì.

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