How to Cook Duck Breast
Slow Cooked Duck Breast Recipe
After many, many attempts at cooking duck - all of which lacked a certain "je ne sais qua," I have finally worked out the best way of cooking duck breast, and the trick is to cook it slowly. Simple really, and it has only taken me about 200 duck breasts to get right. This is one of the simplest duck breast recipes ever, all that is required is some salt and pepper for seasoning and then we are going to make a really simple sauce or glaze from honey and mustard. The is not a Gordon Ramsay duck breast recipe, although I did pinch one of his potato recipes to serve with it. Cooking duck breast is not exactly rocket science and all you need to cook this one is a cast iron skillet and a small saucepan for the glaze. You can, if you wish, turn this into a baked duck breast recipe by placing the skillet in an oven instead of using a stove top. This way allows you easier access to skim off the fat though. You can usel skinless duck breasts, but you really need the fat for any recipe involving duck breast. This also makes a fantastic wild duck recipe. That is where much of the taste comes from and this is relatively low fat because we are going to skim off the fat as the breasts cook. So - the key is slow cooking a duck breast and in this case, I started with a cold skillet. If you are cooking wild duck breasts, the instructions are the same, but you may find less fat on a wild game bird. This will serve 2, although you could turn it into a duck breast appetizer by slicing it up and serving with a salad.
Author: Mark Knowles
- 2 duck breasts
- salt and pepper
- large bottle of wine
- For the glaze:
- 2 table spoons red wine vinegar
- 2 table spoons honey
- 1 table spoon ground pepper
- 1 table spoon whole grain mustard
- First - open the wine, pour and sip. We are not going to be adding any to the duck, so this is all for the chef. Start with a cold skillet. Season the duck breasts with a good helping of salt and pepper, place in a cold skillet, skin side down. Cook slowly over a low heat for around 25 minutes until all the fat has been rendered off, skimming as you go. Do not throw the fat away - it it great for making oven roasted potatoes. When all the fat has come away, turn the heat up to high for about 5 minutes to crisp the skin. Then turn the duck over, turn the heat off and leave the breasts to sit in the pan for another 15 minute with no heat.
- For the glaze: While the duck is sitting resting, add the ingredients to a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the volume by around half and pour over the duck breasts just before serving.
- I served these with sautéed potatoes with a garlic and shallot confit. This is taken from a Gordon Ramsay duck breast recipe, but I prefer this one.
- large potatoes, peeled and sliced thickly
- For the confit:
- cloves garlic, peeled
- bay leaf
- teaspoon thyme
- /4 cup of olive oil
- /4 cup water
- salt and pepper
- First peel and slice the potatoes thickly and peel and chop the garlic and shallots very finely (as in the photos). Place the potatoes in a saucepan full of cold salted water, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. remove and drain, leave covered to sit and cool. Add the ingredients for the confit to a small sauce pan, cover with a lid and slow cook for about 30 minutes until the shallots are going brown, then remove the bay leaf and discard. I did this first, left the potatoes to sit and the confit to cook and then made the duck. When the duck was sitting and resting, I finished the potatoes.
- To finish the potatoes. Drain the oil from the confit and add to a cast iron skillet - then fry the potatoes over a medium heat until going brown. Add half the confit and toss the potatoes in the mixture, cooking until golden brown. The confit should caramelize, giving a lovely sweet flavor that complements the duck also. Add the rest of the confit when serving the meal.
- Bon apetit!