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OK, for all you silly cooks who think that a fine meal of duck breast on a weeknight is ridiculous, please… Give it up.

I worked until 8PM tonight, and about 5PM I decided to grab a couple of fresh Pekin duck breasts for dinner. They were small, but perfect for a quick dinner later than perhaps a typical night.

Each breast was only about 5-6 ounces; tiny but rife with potential. Start by throwing a cast iron skillet (preferably) onto the fire and let it heat till it’s pretty hot. While the skillet heats, get a sharp knife and score the duck’s skin to allow the fat to render. No need to grease the pan, your duck will provide it all. Season your duck breast with salt and pepper, maybe a rub of garlic. Throw it onto the hot skillet for about 5-6 minutes, then once the skin is nice and seared brown, flip it onto the other side and cook for another 3-4 minutes. For extra fun I took a couple of shallots, cut them in half, and seared them at the same time. As they fall apart, remove at the same time, put the duck onto a cutting board and cover with foil for five minutes.

While the breast rests, clear out most of the rendered fat and save for some other cooking task (great with potatoes or morning eggs), take some sweet jam or preserves…whatever you have on hand, and put in the same skillet. Add some vegetable or chicken stock and stir till it thickens a bit, and then add some liquor. It can be some brandy, cooking sake, Chambord or Cointreau; whatever. Reduce down and put in a small ramekin, bowl, or a cup.

Wipe the skillet clean, add some veggies; I added some sliced zucchini and the seared shallots, and rather than add more oil, splash some vegetable or chicken broth and cook till soft.

Prepare your plate. Slice the duck breast thinly at about 1/4″, spread on a plate, and pour your sauce. Tonight it was raspberry preserves, accompanied by the seared shallots and sliced zucchini. 20 minutes.

No carbs, you might notice. Sure, add some rice or potato on the side, but nowadays since I’ve pushed past 60, my wife is pushing 60, neither of us need more carbs. But that’s just us.

So look….you can do this. Buy a couple of duck breasts, do as I did, and you will be surprised at how easy it is.

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