As a child I have a distinct memory of my first taste of duck. It was full of shot and as I was picking it out of my dinner, I swore I would never touch this particular bird again. Fast forward years later, I am an avid ~ perhaps even rabid ~ fan.
Duck seemed to disappear off of the average consumers radar for many years and is making a huge comeback. It is tasty and nutritious, with both wild and domestic duck being an excellent source of iron and protein. There are so many ways to prepare duck, I had a difficult time choosing which to share with you.
The first thing to do when preparing duck for cooking is to slice through the skin and fat. Press down on the duck’s skin with a sharp knife, being careful not to cut through the meat. Make a cut about every half inch over the surface of the bird. These cuts allow the fat of the duck to drain, which improves the taste and texture of the bird. Duck skin should be crispy, so to avoid a tough and chewy skin, you must cook off as much of the fat as possible. Item two, it is imperative that you cook the duck slowly. Also, duck, like all meats and poultry, should rest after cooking to allow juices to settle in the meat.
As you are reading the following ingredients and shopping list, think about dishes that you already whip up for your fam that you can use duck in place of pork, beef or chicken. Any spice or seasoning can be used with this bird.
Please click the title of each recipe to travel to individual sites for full instructions for each dish. As always, I encourage you to browse and poke around each one for more recipes, tips and tricks as they are full of information for food prep and ideas. I also include a list of ingredients for easy shopping list info…
Sunset Magazine is such an excellent media for great foods that aren’t mainstream. I love cruising through their articles for inspiring ideas on many subjects, not always just food, this recipe definitely caught my eye and I want to share it with you as a fav of mine.
Thyme-Roasted Duck Breast with Orange-Wine Sauce ~ This recipe serves 6 and takes approx 1 Hour, 15 Minutes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1cup chopped celery
- 1/2 cup chopped shallots
- 1/4 cup chopped garlic
- Dry Red Wine ~ 1 Bottle
- 1 cup orange juice
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme, rinsed, plus 3 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 3 duck breast halves (about 10 ounces each)
- Salt and Pepper
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 6 cups baby arugula leaves (5 ounces) rinsed and crisped
FoodNetwork seriously just knocks my socks off. When you link to their site you will see exactly what I am writing about. It always changing, easy to navigate and their lineup of chef’s recipes are exquisite. If you do not have the opportunity to catch their shows, there are recipes on their site that are video instead of written instructions and bonus!! If you have a smart phone they have a couple of apps I cannot do without. This recipe is a bit involved and takes more time than the previous one listed above. It is worth the time it takes and will impress all who are sitting at your table.
Duck with Figs and Port ~ Serves 4 and Prep / Cook Time is 3 hours.
Shopping List and on hand items needed:
- 6-pound Duck
- 2 medium shallots
- 1 2-inch piece ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds, cracked
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup ruby port
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 dried black figs, stemmed and halved
- 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar