January 23, 2021



#Sizzlin' with SAS -- Demystifying Duck, or, How To Make The Easiest Dish You'll Ever Wow Your Guests With

Demystifying Duck

I love duck.  Every part of it.
I even love to watch them fly.  And especially walk.

Seared duck breast is the easiest protein on the planet that likely scares most. 

Here are my tips to help make your duck searing a success!

  • leave the skin on
  • remove from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before searing
  • while warming up, score the just the fat layer, not touching the meat
  • salt and pepper it now
  • 5 minutes before searing, transfer to paper towel to remove all water plus any water that has rendered out of the fat
  • transfer duck breast, FAT SIDE DOWN into a COLD PAN aluminum, stainless steel or cast iron pan (definitely not a non-stick pan – it will not sear properly)
  • apply medium heat and allow the duck to moderately sear.  You will be searing the meat ¾ of the time on this side
  • adjust the temperature to keep the searing similar to the sound that you would hear bacon cook
  • after searing 6 to 8 minutes on the fatty side then the flip to the non-fat side
  • re-salt the fatty side NOW!
  • once the lean side has seared, then sear on each side for 30 to 60 seconds per side (must be equal time!)
  • remove from the pan to a cutting board and allow to rest for ~5 minutes fatty side up
  • cut on the angle cross-wise with a sharp knife always preserving the fatty layer
  • serve ½ breast per person for an first course, a whole duck breast per person for a main
  • keep the duck fat from the pan – it is gold!  Sear potatoes in it!   Then call to thank me for the fabulous advice.

 Duck breast, because of its richness, needs an acidic or savoury sauce to accompany it.  Orange, cranberry, cherries, prickly pears, etc, all make a fabulous sauce.  Here is the one that we made for today's Sizzlin' with SAS Instagram live post:

Ingredients:
1 shallot, peeled and chopped finely
1 garlic clove, chopped finely
1 cup of Cherry Lane Sweetened Dried Cherries (or dried cranberries)
½ cup low sodium chicken stock
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon rosemary leaves, chopped finely (lavender would also be fabulous, just unsure of the quantity)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into cubes and chilled

Heat either 1 tablespoon of duck fat rendered from searing (or 1 tablespoon of olive oil) over medium high heat in a medium sized saucepan.
Cook the shallots until they are soft (about 3 minutes).
Add in garlic and rosemary until it is aromatic (about 1 minute).
Add in the dried cherries, chicken stock and honey.  Cook for about 10 minutes with the lid on until the cherries are plump.
Remove from the heat.
Swirl in chilled butter.
Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve beneath the duck breast.

The sauce and the duck can be served both warmed or both chilled. IDEAL with the Split Rail Gamay Noir