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Cooking Duck Breasts: Tips and Techniques


bushey
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Some GREAT replies guys...thanks for helping my creative juices to flow again!

The wine we will be having is a fairly young (2000 I believe) napa pinot (I forget the vineyard) as I do love Pinot with duck...

Maybe a 50/50 caramalized leek/mashed potatoe under the duck, with a black current reduction?

I am considering marinating the duck breasts...I was thinking a soy/ginger/garlic/honey(Or the black current jam)/lime juice marinade...

Hmmm so many choices!

Edit - Hmm, I have this sauce I use for venison I believe may go well with the duck...Its a shallot/sage/port reduction, I think that would work as well....

Edited by sadistick (log)
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Sunday night I cooked ducks (wild ones) several different ways.

One course was seared and braised duck breast with pearl onions and baby carrots (real baby carrots-not those little hunks that they have in bags in the produce section which are, basically, machined carrots). It was pretty simple and damned delicious (my dining guests, as often happens on these nights, included a couple of James Beard winners and at least 3 food writers/critics)-they loved it, so, technically anyway, I suppose that it would have passed muster with most discerning critics.

8 breasts were seared to a nice brown color in a very hot pan coated with just a bit of blood orange oil.

A good red wine (can't remember what :wacko: there was alot of wine at this particular dinner) was added to the pan at the end of the sear along with pearl onions, 2 sliced yellow onions, a thinly sliced yellow bell pepper, additional cracked pepper, a bit more salt (I salt on the front end as much as possible-it's dangerous, of course, but I like this method better), and a large sprig of rosemary.

I braised at low heat for about 90 minutes, adding the carrots at the end of the braise (along with the livers of the ducks-I always save them when I clean ducks).

The pan juices needed no additional work or thickening and were perfect for the very tender meat.

It's simple and it's good.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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Gotta make THAT, Brooks!!!    Sounds terrific.

(besides, there's all that pesky leftover blood orange oil hanging around in the cupboards)

It's not pesky at all-it makes awesome oil for salad dressing and is perfect for seared tuna-you can really taste the orangy deliciousness on tuna or any other quickly seared fish.

Here's the whole menu from Sunday night just for the record:

Tamales with duck cracklins and a green chile sauce

Mixed Baby greens with roasted yellow beets, red onions, and red radishes

Leidenheimer's Italian Loaf bread-almost straight out of the oven (that's a great connection, that bread thing. I love it)

Roasted mallards stuffed with granny smith apples and andouille and a very nice reduction of red wine and pan juices

Baby carrots (local, really good) braised in duck fat (think carrot confit-it's good, trust me)

Braised Teal with sweet onion compote

Purple hull peas

Butter beans cooked in duck broth with innards and such

Pontchatoula Strawberry Sorbet

Rice Pudding with Strawberries

About 6 bottles of apparently very nice wine and two bottles of very, very nice Veuve Cliquot with dessert. I drank alot of soda. Oh well.

That's about it, I think. But that's enough.

This is fun to do and we try to do it occasionally. Everyone kind of pitches in, but two of us did most of it. Alison Vines-Rushing made the rice pudding and I can tell you that it was off the hook good. I could have eaten a quart, but sadly, there were no leftovers.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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The butterbeans are easy-

First, you get your Mom to give you butterbeans out of one of her 3 freezers because you have to replace the ones that you had only put up a month before the hurricane knocked out the lights for 8 weeks. That's the hard part. The rest is easy.

I had the broth because of the fact that I had boiled 3 mallards for the stock and for gumbo meat (I have, literally, a freezer full of ducks-the end of the season-the part that I missed-was pretty spectacular and we have lots and lots of donations)

I picked the ducks (carefully peeling the fat off for the cracklins-which are easy to make-just put the oven on 450, turn on every fan in the kitchen, put the fat pieces on a fine wire rack, watch your kitchen fill with smoke, and wait), cooled the stock over night, defatted the stock, froze some of the stock, and saved the rest for the beans.

3 cups of beans into a pot with a sliced onion, a couple of toes of garlic (whole), salt, pepper, and a bay leaf.

Cook until just beginning to turn tender and add the livers and whatever other little niblets that you have around (you can even add some chicken livers if you don't have a family member smart enough to save the good parts when the ducks get cleaned). Cook until tender, but not until mooshy (I know, I know, I'm from the South, and YES, I do like over boiled peas and beans, but not in this case), al dente, if you will.

Spoon them with a slotted spoon onto plates, adding a little of the onion and the naughty bits, and watch your friends smile and say something like (and I quote), "You know, I thought that where you're from ya'll just boiled peas and butterbeans in water with some onion and salt!"

It's a very satisfying dish.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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Thanks for all the suggestions, ended up marinating the duck in some soy/honey/garlic/ginger/sesame oil/lime zest and juice. Turned out great.

Paired with caramalized leek mashed potatoes, king mushrooms, and baby bok choy.

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MmmMmm duck one of my favourites, maybe an appetizer of toasted nut and fruit bread with seared, and cooled, thinly sliced duck breast and topped with a pear chutney.

OR

MAKE DUCK PROCCIUTTO (sp?) mmMmmmmmMMMmmm :biggrin:

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  • 1 month later...

What type of duck breast is the best to use for the stove stop method? Moulard, Muscovy, or Pekin? Does it make a difference? I have a digital probe - what temp should I take it out at for a medium rare temp? Thanks.

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Simple is good. Pan fry duck breasts after having scored the skin side in a criss cross. Rub in lots of coarse sea salt. Fry gently for about 15-20 minutes pouring out the rendered fat every so often. Put a bit more salt & some pepper on the meat side.

Turn heat up high & turn the breasts over pushing down firmly. Continue to sear until cooked to the degree of doneness you like. (My personal taste is way towards rare) That's it.

One option is to pour out all of the fat just before turning then add a nice slice of foie gras per serving. As the foie gras renders it fat turn the breasts. Then turn the foie gras. Eat & go to heaven.

Another option is to serve the magret with a walnut & garlic puree. If you do this don't do the foie gras as the puree over powers the liver.

Oops, almost forgot. Serve a nice Cahors wine with the duck.

Edited by Dave Hatfield (log)
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I like to score the breast, then render the breast fat out in a low heat pan. Remove most of the fat (leave just enough to cook the breast in the pan) Then sear the skin, flip and cook to a nice med-rare.

I often use the duck fat to fry up some par-cooked red potatoes, with a generous sprinkling of kosher salt.

Edited by Qwerty (log)
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Gotta make THAT, Brooks!!!    Sounds terrific.

(besides, there's all that pesky leftover blood orange oil hanging around in the cupboards)

It's not pesky at all-it makes awesome oil for salad dressing and is perfect for seared tuna-you can really taste the orangy deliciousness on tuna or any other quickly seared fish.

Here's the whole menu from Sunday night just for the record:

Tamales with duck cracklins and a green chile sauce

Mixed Baby greens with roasted yellow beets, red onions, and red radishes

Leidenheimer's Italian Loaf bread-almost straight out of the oven (that's a great connection, that bread thing. I love it)

Roasted mallards stuffed with granny smith apples and andouille and a very nice reduction of red wine and pan juices

Baby carrots (local, really good) braised in duck fat (think carrot confit-it's good, trust me)

Braised Teal with sweet onion compote

Purple hull peas

Butter beans cooked in duck broth with innards and such

Pontchatoula Strawberry Sorbet

Rice Pudding with Strawberries

About 6 bottles of apparently very nice wine and two bottles of very, very nice Veuve Cliquot with dessert. I drank alot of soda. Oh well.

That's about it, I think. But that's enough.

This is fun to do and we try to do it occasionally. Everyone kind of pitches in, but two of us did most of it. Alison Vines-Rushing made the rice pudding and I can tell you that it was off the hook good. I could have eaten a quart, but sadly, there were no leftovers.

Oh my God, I'm so homesick :wacko:

Just a simple southern lady lost out west...

"Leave Mother in the fridge in a covered jar between bakes. No need to feed her." Jackal10

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MAKE DUCK  PROCCIUTTO (sp?) mmMmmmmmMMMmmm :biggrin:

I second that as my new favorite way

Dave Valentin

Retired Explosive Detection K9 Handler

"So, what if we've got it all backwards?" asks my son.

"Got what backwards?" I ask.

"What if chicken tastes like rattlesnake?" My son, the Einstein of the family.

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We're having a couple friends over for dinner tonight, and I thought I'd serve some duck breast as the center of the plate. I'm just planning to sear it but I want to serve a sauce with it. I have things like duck demi, cream, lots of assorted dried fruits, assorted vinegars, assorted liquors and liqueurs on hand (calvados, poire william, really good rum, brandy, etc etc). I will be serving a risotto cake alongside, the risotto has peas and serrano ham mixed into it. What sort of sauce should I make that will match the cake? I'll back-end into the wine from there, so wine suggestions would also be welcome.

(The rest of the menu: tomato soup, seared scallops with corn beurre blanc, the duck and risotto cake, and then passionfruit cheesecake for dessert. Yes, a little rich, but my guests absolutely adore cheesecake.)

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Hrmm... this is hard. The risottos is very delicate so you don't want to overpower it. Do you have any saffron on hand? Maybe just a simple saffron cream sauce. You would sort of riff off the classic risotto milanese flavours with the saffron and the creaminess.

The other thing I'm thinking of is mushrooms which should be another really nice pairing but I don't really see it working in sauce form.

If you want a nice colour, a roasted red pepper sauce is great. Just roast some red peppers, remove the skins and then puree in the blender with some S&P, tomato paste, olive oil and roasted garlic if you have it. The subtle sweetness of the peppers should pair nicely with the duck without overpowering it.

Nothing is really jumping out as really compelling though.

PS: I am a guy.

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Yeah, I wouldn't have done the risotto cakes like that except I am writing a story on risotto for my local paper, and there's leftover cold risotto from the photo shoot that I want to use up. I added the peas and serrano 'cause I thought that would look pretty in the photos and I had those things on hand.

I actually have a jar of roasted red peppers sitting in the fridge that need to be used up. Hmmm.

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Rochelle -

I just made a b-day dinner for my mom and uncle a week ago, and one of things I did was seared duck breast, in this case it was on a fingerling potatoe/garlic chive mash...

I wouldnt be too concerned with the sauce overpowering the risotto, as it will soak up the sauce and make it reallly good. You want a sauce that pairs well with the duck first and foremost.

That being said, after I trimmed the breasts, i took all the trimmings and fried them up, rendering off the fat and getting all those great little golden bits on the bottom of the pan - then removed them, added good handfull of shallots, sauteed them off in the fat while scraping the bottom, then deglazed with 3 cups of decent port, and about 1.5 cups or so of a good beef stock (you can use chicken or whatnot as well) then reduced that.

I strained the sauce, seasoned it, reduced a bit more, then drizzled over the sliced duck breast before serving. Everyone really liked it.

Hope this helps.

-Justin

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I decided to make an onion marmalade to go with the duck. The risotto is in panko-crusted cake form and needs no sauce, imo. I am trying to decide if I should make a basic pan sauce as well (just duck demi, onions, butter type thing) and drizzle it on the plate. Oh, I'm adding some grilled baby zucchini to the plate too...

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  • 4 months later...

score the skin and fat without biting into the meat. season with salt and pepper. start on a sear, skin side down then lower the heat drastically so the fat renders out, the skin crisps up and the breasts cook. remove from pan... now where do you want to go?

remove all but about a Tbsp of the fat. add minced shallots then deglaze with port, add quartered figs and serve over the breasts. use the extra fat to fry brabant potatoes in

red onions...poached quinces... flat leaf parsley... red wine

red onions(again) ... roasted ancho chile strips...crema ...heated tortillas

lettuce leafs... thinly sliced onions...a mix of hoisin sauce and sesame oil then thin strips of the duck with the skin cracklins

baked potatoes hollowed out... the potato meat mixed with sour cream(in our case a fake sour cream that is kosher), chives, the cracklin skin then served alongside the slices of breast

mixed salad with the breast thinly sliced and served over it with a vinaigrette of the fat, sherry vinegar and shallots

uh..... invite me for dinner?

Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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Please give some consideration to this preparation:Duck Breasts with Orange, Honey and Tea Sauce which I have made with success ... or even this recipe for Duck Breast with Golden Raisin and Orange Sauce ... if you enjoy a little sweetness with your succulent duck breast ...

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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I love this recipe for duck breasts (cooked as suzi has stated) with raspberry sauce made with 1 c. red wine, 2/3 c. good casis. cornstarch and raspberries. After searing the scored skin and flipping the breasts to skin side up you press a mixture of salt, demera sugar and cinnamon into the skin.

270707056_2cf8a7554b.jpg

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I make a duck breast salad with spiced pears - http://cookingdownunder.com/articles/2006/218.htm - but you could also use the pears with hot duck breast.

Last summer I pickled cherries - http://cookingdownunder.com/articles/2005/216.htm - and we also eat them with duck dishes.

Website: http://cookingdownunder.com

Blog: http://cookingdownunder.com/blog

Twitter: @patinoz

The floggings will continue until morale improves

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I make confit from whole ducks all the time, if you render all the fat from the ducks aside from the legs you'll get enough fat from two ducks to confit four legs. I haven't tried with one since it lasts forever in the fridge I always do larger batches. Three or more ducks will yield enough fat that you don't need to render the fat from the breasts. Most often I use the rest of the meat (don't forget the oysters from the back) and offal from the ducks to make a duck ragu. Duck breast au poivre is really good, as is seared duck with a duck demi-glace based bordelaise. Duck larb is also always a good choice.

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