Monday, March 31, 2014

Chef Tip: How to Cook a Duck Breast

The Perfect Duck Breast

      This week we received an email from our friend Joe M. in Massachusetts who wants to cook a special meal for his wife. The first thing we thought of was Duck breast. Duck is a beautiful protein that most people only eat when at a restaurant, so cooking it at home will surely impress your significant other.

      Duck is an animal that is cooked completely differently than it may seem. The legs are tough and fat which are best when braised or confit; and the breast are cooked more similarly to beef than chicken. Unlike a chicken the skin of the duck breast is very thick and fatty, but when rendered out it becomes the most crisp and succulent part of the dish. For Repair My Recipe cooking the perfect Duck breast involves a cast iron skillet and low heat to render out the fat. This all begins though with preparing the duck breast.

1. Begin by scoring the skin of the duck using the point of a sharp paring knife. Scoring is slicing through just the top layer of skin so that the fat underneath can render out.

2. Pat the skin dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper.
3. Lay the duck breast skin side down in a cold cast iron skillet. Turn the heat to medium and allow the fat to melt and skin to crisp, about 10 minutes.

4. Once golden brown and crisp flip the duck breast, add a nice pat of butter, a garlic clove, and a sprig of thyme and rosemary.  Baste the duck with the flavored butter and cook over high heat for 5 minutes. Internal temperature should read about 130 F, REMEMBER it should be medium rare.

5. Remove the duck breast from the pan and allow it to rest for 5 minutes. Slice thinly and enjoy.

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