I've never made duck breasts before but ordered some a few months ago and I am going to take out to defrost. I was hoping some of you would share your favorite recipes or techniques.
I think that the best way to handle duck breasts is to treat them a little like they're steaks. Your exact timing will depend a lot on size and the quality of your breasts. Use a griddle, a grill,or a saute pan, and sear them on the fat side for about 5 minutes, turn them over and cook them another 5. Maybe turn them back over to sear the fat some more, or cover to cook through. A really nice fresh duck breast can be a little bloody rather than overly cooked. Slice thin, and serve with a sauce (fruit sauces are good) or just with salt and pepper.
Cut the skin in little 'diamond' patterns, season with salt pepper,.start in a cold pan and slowly heat skin side down to render some fat..then turn up the heat and crisp up the skin..flip and cook just a bit more, then to a 325 oven for a bit until about 140 with a probe for med-rare. (it can be done entirely in the pan, but the pan/oven method is less guess work)
It's important to sear the skin in the pan first to get the "Mallard" reaction.
( you don't know how long I've been waiting to use that pun).
You can saute as noted by Sam, or broil as in this recipe. The sauce is easy and delicious:
Score the skin and salt and pepper it, as recommended above. I just do medium heat the whole way in the pan (not nonstick) - resist the urge to flip them over until the skin is really crisp and most of the fat has rendered. Then finish on the meat side for a couple of minutes. Finally, it should rest skin side up on an overturned plate on top of a cutting board, so that the juices don't pool and steam the meat or skin (a good trick for resting steaks as well).
YES to the massive importance of a deep brown crisp skin and all of that delicious fat. Mr L also achieved that on a medium grill and close attention to the flame. He then made this sauce and we about fell out of our seats at the deliciousness ....
Thanks everyone! I'll report back.
Score the skin, I don't s&p, sear skin side down in a very hot pan (canola, not olive oil), the duck will release when done - do not worry... The put into a 325F oven until med rare (use a thermometer if you can't tell by touch. Let sit covered for the juices to soak in. Slice a biase and serve over sauce of your voice. Save the duck fat to use for future mashed potato.