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Old 08-20-2009, 10:33 PM   #1
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Help...Cooking Duck.

This would be a first time Duck experience. Both the cooking and eating part.
So, any tips, info, help would go a longway for me.

I have a local Butcher who always has fantastic cuts. Always days fresh, clean and marbled meats, aged perfect. So, my acquiring of the meat is not the question and I generally trust him to provide me with the best possible cuts.

So, I do have a few questions.

I know it should be cooked stove top, on an initial "Low" setting fat side down, lightly salted, then the heat slowly raised to properly render the fat.

1. I have noticed when watching it cooked on TV it seems to be cooked pretty rare. Extremely reddish almost a purple color to the cooked breast.It could be the color difference on the TV, but it still seems rare. This seemed to go against the norm of cooking fowl "well" ie; no pink centers.

My question? Is it cooked rare? What temp should the center be before eating? I generally like my steaks and roast at a medium rare, nice pink soft centers.


2. How much of the fat is supposed to be left on the breast and should it "sliced or scored"? Should it be trimmed?

Any advice or tips will be greatly appreciated.

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Old 08-20-2009, 10:47 PM   #2
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Duck is an all time favorite of mine.

Sounds like you're talking about boneless breasts.

I score the skin in a crosshatch pattern then cook it fat side down over medium low heat to render the fat (which I save in a plastic container). Let the breast cook on the first side until the skin is richly brown and most of the fat has melted.

I cook the breasts to medium rare to medium. I don't care for the texture of very rare duck. It's up to what you like.

If it's a big breast, I finish it in a 400F oven after turning it skin side up. Depending on the heat level and time on the first side, it needs about 7 minutes in the oven. Rest and serve.

You can eat it with just salt and pepper or make a pan sauce or a sweet fruit based sauce.
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Old 08-21-2009, 09:34 AM   #3
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I'm not a fan of pan seared breast, medium rare. I didn't really like duck at all, UNTIL duck confit, mmmm.... love it. great on crusty bread with grilled onions and a grilled lettuce.
recipe duck confit - Google Search
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Old 08-21-2009, 02:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
Duck is an all time favorite of mine.

Sounds like you're talking about boneless breasts.

I score the skin in a crosshatch pattern then cook it fat side down over medium low heat to render the fat (which I save in a plastic container). Let the breast cook on the first side until the skin is richly brown and most of the fat has melted.

I cook the breasts to medium rare to medium. I don't care for the texture of very rare duck. It's up to what you like.

If it's a big breast, I finish it in a 400F oven after turning it skin side up. Depending on the heat level and time on the first side, it needs about 7 minutes in the oven. Rest and serve.

You can eat it with just salt and pepper or make a pan sauce or a sweet fruit based sauce.
Ok. So basically I would "Sear" the fat side brown, and let the fat render down, then remove and bake it at 400F. I've never eaten duck or cooked duck so this is a first for me. I saw it cooked on TV and it just looked so good.

I was thinking of serving it either on a bed of greens w/ a lemon vinaigrette. or maybe with a fruit side. I was looking for a real "contrast".
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Old 08-21-2009, 03:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyogal
I didn't really like duck at all
Not even roasted/smoked over wood coals, and made into a Gumbo with a little Andouille added????
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Old 08-21-2009, 04:19 PM   #6
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Not even roasted/smoked over wood coals, and made into a Gumbo with a little Andouille added????

Mmmmmm! Now your talkin'!
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Old 08-21-2009, 04:21 PM   #7
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I suppose, I don't know. I grew up eating wild game birds, wasn't all that jazzed about it. We had duck at cooking school, just not a fan. unless it's confit. greasy, rich, wonderfulness.
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Old 08-22-2009, 01:41 AM   #8
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I love building a quick fruity sauce when making a pan roasted duck breast, once you remove the duck and are resting, just deglaze your pan with some red wine, a splash of stock, and whatever dark juices you have on hand, blueberry is a favorite (even leaving some berries in is a nice touch) or pomegranete. Also in regards to the doneness level, I have found most people who like medium rare steaks tend to lean more toward the medium side when it comes to duck. Its rare center is not as texturally appealing as beef.
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