Food & Drink

I'm Chris - or Christopher - or Mr. Dean - or Master Christopher - or just plain Sir. I'm a self-professed foodie. I love to cook and I take great pleasure in all things edible. My husband and I are relatively new to Portland, Oregon and are enjoying our culinary explorations of the area!

Food is NOT just fuel!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Duck Breast

While at the Farmers Market on Saturday, I stopped by the Duck Farm booth.  The ducks are all raised in the Hudson Valley.  I opted for a couple of Lola Duck Breasts.  I also grabbed some sunflower sprouts (never had them before) for a bright spring salad.

I cook my duck breasts pretty much the same way I cook my steaks - seared hard on a stove top and finished in a really hot oven.  The skin gets crispy and the flesh stays moist and medium (which is fine with a game bird like duck - NOT chicken).  I made a light red wine vinaigrette for the sunflower sprouts (they were really nice - great "green" flavor).  I also had a small batch of homemade double-spinach ravioli (no, I did not make them - I bought them at the farmers market as well...haha).  And while duck breast is perfectly fantastic by itself, I wanted some additional burst of flavor on the plate.  keith bought me a fantastic fig jam (with big chunks of jam), so I cooked a couple of big spoon-fulls of the fig jam with some honey, balsamic vinegar, and a dash of soy sauce - it complemented the duck really well.  And sorry, the pic isn't all that great, but I still wanted to show you the finished product:

Here are my instructions for a really nice duck breast:
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Score the skin side of the breast with a sharp knife.  Sprinkle the breast (both sides) with salt, pepper & olive oil (you don't need much olive oil as the fat is going to render off of the breast).  Heat up a pan over high heat (drop to medium-high if the breast starts cooking too quickly), and add the breast skin-side down.  Let it cook for 6-8 minutes so that the skin begins to crisp and brown.  Turn the breast and cook the flesh side for 1-2 minutes to seal in juices & flavor.  Turn it back over so the skin side is down and put it in the hot oven.  Cook for 8 minutes or so (I had 2 and I cooked them for 10 minutes in the oven).  Pull the breast out and let it sit for 5 minutes.  Slice it against the grain and serve.

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