Monday, December 26, 2005

How to cook Duck Breasts?

All sounds a bit seedy but quite innocent really!

I'm one of those cooks who 'needs' times when cooking things. It annoys me
to tears when you read in a recipe 'cook until tender' or 'cook until
golden' ... who's gold? fools gold?

Duck Breasts. This is for two 250gm duck breasts with skin on. I have no
idea if that's big or small as that would seem to be the standard from our
butcher. Preheat the oven to 200C. Clean the breasts well and pat dry with
some paper towels - keep the skin and fat on.

Get a large non-stick pan very hot (smoking!) without (VERY important) any
oil - the skin and fat will do their magic. Score the skin side and season
with salt and pepper.

If you have a rangehood turn it on full before putting them in the pan skin
side down for 3 minutes. Turn and cook the other side for 1 minute before
putting them into the oven for 7 minutes. Once that's all done get them out
and leave them to rest for at least 5 minutes before serving. The 7 minutes
will give you a moist (but not too pink for the squeamish) flesh. Shorten
the oven time by a minute or two if you prefer medium-rare.

I leave the skin and fat on and eat around them ... keeps everything nice
and moist. Like to serve resting on either a Kumara (Sweet Potato) or potato
mash. Add a few spring onions, some butter and some cream. A nice sauce can
also be made with some shallots, garlic, red wine reduction and a tart berry
ie. sour cherries.

A nice glass (or two!) of fruity Shiraz goes down very well.

The only disadvantages with cooking duck is that they are quite expensive
($45/kg in Perth!), the kitchen will smell a bit and you'll spend a while
cleaning up the cooktop ... but! .... they've lovely!

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