Happy New Year! I hope 2013 is off to a great start for everyone. David and I had a terrific holiday season, and I have quite a few recipes to catch up on!
First, dinner from last night: a very simple roasted duck.
We recently introduced whole roast duck into our dinner repertoire. Previously, roasting a whole duck somehow seemed more labor intensive than roasting a whole chicken, but it’s really not that different. If you get good, fresh duck — and we get lovely Long Island duck here in New York — then a simply roasted duck is delicious. I also love getting all the fabulous duck fat after roasting a whole duck, which I like to strain and keep so that I can use duck fat to roast vegetables (SO GOOD).
I like to roast the duck at a high temperature, bringing the temperature down later. This method helps make the skin nice and crispy. The simplest, no-frills way I have come to roast a duck, is as follows:
I like to make sure that I get as much meat off poultry (chicken, duck, turkey) before I throw way the carcass. Although the meat between the bones are perfectly lovely, sometimes they are better eaten within something rather than on its own, since the meat tends to be in little pieces and shreds. We had a bit of duck leftover from the whole roasted duck, so, for our Saturday brunch, I made us sweet potato and duck hash to go with some fried eggs. We LOVED it!
Here’s what I recommend you do with leftover, shredded pieces of duck meat:
Sometimes, we find ourselves in a little protein rut. What else can we eat besides beef, chicken, pork and fish? Last night, David and I went shopping at Whole Foods and felt such a rut. What protein should we eat for dinner? When we saw a whole duck (last one, it appeared) and some lovely looking organic black plums,we found our inspiration and challenge: whole roast duck with black plums and spices!
Inspired by Jamie Oliver’s recipe for duck legs, I came up with a recipe that worked out quite nicely.
Seared duck breasts are surprisingly simple to make. We love duck – they make a great departure from chicken, beef, pork, lamb… the usual meats we eat.
Here’s how I usually sear duck breasts:
Rinse and pat-dry the duck breasts. Score the skin side — I like to make the cross-hatch quite small, so that the fat really renders out and makes the skin crispy. Salt and pepper both sides, and let it stand at room temperature for half an hour.
Heat a pan/skillet on high. When hot, place the duck breasts, skin-side down, in the pan/skillet. Sear the skin for about 7 minutes, until the skin is crispy and a golden brown. Turn, and sear the meat-side, for about 6 or 7 more minutes for medium-rare (depending on size). Transfer onto a plate and cover with foil, and let it rest for at least 5 minutes.
(**While the duck is resting, I sauteed some broccoli and garlic as a accompaniment for the duck.)
Slice the duck breast thinly. Enjoy!