Muscovy duck breast with dried cranberries, cream, and raspberry jam. Nothing says Holiday cooking as a duck does.
Alright… I can have duck all year round, but to me the texture and richness of the meat paired with a sauce, is the perfect portrayal of a cold night, to be enjoyed with a full body of red wine, a fire roaring in the fireplace…
What can I say… I am a romantic even during a school night.
There is something wonderful about eating duck. The meat is rich in flavor.
Fruity sauces marry well. It is so easy to prepare, you will be amazed.
One whole large breast will feed two people well.
Preparing duck can be daunting as it is very fat meat, however, I am here to show you how to enjoy a tender, gamey duck breast in the comfort of your own home.
With this duck breast recipe I share with you today, I paired it with a sweet raspberry sauce. The perfect combination of gamey and sweet.
The easy raspberry sauce melts in your mouth. Adding some fresh raspberries to your salad, just gives it that perfect balance.
What kind of duck should I use to cook with?
There are three types of duck that are excellent for cooking.
Peking duck is the most popular to eat as it is mild in flavor, and easily suitable for all cuisines. Furthermore, the flesh is milder in flavor compared to the Moulard or Muscovy duck. Also, it is perfect for the whole roasting. Duck a L’Orange is a favorite recipe using Peking duck.
Moulard or Mulard duck is a cross between the Pekin duck (female) and the Muscovy (male). Larger and meatier breast than any other duck breed. Rich for his red meat, plum breast, and hefty legs. Often fed grain to fatten its liver for foie gras.
Muscovy duck, also known commercially as Barbary duck. This breed of duck has a more gamey taste to it. Furthermore is less greasy than most ducks.
When young these ducks are considered excellent for eating. The meat is lean and tender with a mild taste. Usually, just the breast meat is sold, which is quite lean.
A few tips that I want to share with you so you will enjoy this wonderful meat.
You do want a crispy-skinned duck. To achieve this step, a video is included with this recipe for a quick tutorial, you must, with a sharp knife, score the fat by way of a small cross-cut on the duck breast skin side.
Pan sear duck breast skin side down, flesh side facing you. Feel free to remove as much of the greasy fat that it is rendered as often as you wish. Save it for later use.
The fat will be too much when you prepare your pan sauce.
Remove any extra fat that you may see coming out from under the skin. However, do not remove or separate the skin from the meat as that is what gives the breast all of its flavors.
Score the skin lightly making sure that it is not pierced all the way thru. This will allow for the heat to penetrate thru the skin and melt away all the extra fat.
Cook skin side down for 5 minutes to a light golden crisp. Cook the other side for 3 minutes.
Do remove all the extra fat that has been released from the duck. Continue with the recipe.
The above step is important as you do not want your breast to sit on fat and cook on fat.
Heavy cream is my choice. You may want to add some mascarpone if you have some on hand or creme fraiche.
Season generously the breasts prior to cooking so a nice crisp coating will form, and I am satisfied with the taste. Please add more salt to counterbalance the sweetness of the cranberries and the jam.
Side Dishes Suggestion.
For dinner we had a crispy spinach salad is a good balance with the sauce and duck.
Preheat oven at 350°F. In an ovenproof skillet heat a shadow of oil on high heat. Score the duck breasts skin lightly with a knife making sure that it is not pierced all the way through. Generously salt and pepper both sides of the duck breast.
When the skillet is hot, add the duck skin side down. Cook until the skin is golden brown, about 5 minutes, turn to the other side and cook for 3 minutes. Turn again, skin side up, discard all of the fat from the pan and place in the hot oven. Cook for another 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.
Remove all the fat rendered from the duck breast, remove any large burn bits, if any in the skillet. Return the skillet to medium heat and add the cranberries and heavy cream. Lower the heat to see just a light simmer of the cream. Cook until thickened, 5 minutes.
Add the raspberry jam to the cream-cranberries sauce and blend well.
Spread the sauce on the bottom of the plate and serve the duck sliced over it.