First of all, let me remove all fear:
Very easy to prepare. It just requires a couple more steps and a little more attention. And when I say attention is nothing more than using a sharp knife, scoring the skin with shallow slits in a crisis cross pattern into the duck breast skin and fat, ensuring not to pierce the beautiful meaty flesh underneath it.
That is all the difficulty that is required for any duck recipe. The best part is cooking it all in one skillet.
Therefore, quick and easy to make, it only takes 30 minutes. Simple, delicious, and absolutely delicious.
The most common breeds that are served in restaurants are the Mallard and Muscovy. The white Peking is most used since it has the most tender, and mild flavor. Not as gamey.
- The duck has one very meaty side and one side rich in fat. The duck fat is actually recommended that you save once you extract it from searing it. You can use it for a later time for French fries, or to add extra flavor to any meats or vegetables. Stores well in the refrigerator.
- Starting by having your breasts at room temperature. With a paper towel pat, the duck dry and remove any small feather tips that may be left on the skin.
- Season the duck and place it on a roasting pan or cast-iron skillet.
- To allow all the fat to be extracted while achieving crispy skin, place duck breasts skin side down in a cold pan.
- I enjoy grating the garlic. The essence of the garlic is better distributed with the seasoning thus enjoying it better.
- If you have French gray sea salt, use it. It blends better with the garlic. Optional of course.
- Turn the heat to medium, start cooking until the skin is golden brown and easily separate itself from the pan. Cook duck for around 15 minutes.
- For this duck breast recipe, flip the breasts and finish them in the oven.
- Use figs that are just perfect. Over ripen will fall apart while cooking.
- Slice and serve around three to four pieces of the breast for each person.
- Duck legs are less meaty, however can be enjoyed the same way.
If time permits you can marinate the breasts up to 24 hours in advance in the refrigerator. Let them return to room temperature before cooking.
The figs make a perfect complement to this dish and this is a wonderful dinner party recipe. I sprinkled some of the cooking fat over the figs. The combination of the two is out of this world.
The final lemon squeeze and olive oil bring the whole dish together with a perfect balance.
As a side dish,
Garlic potatoes are always my favorite for a hearty dinner. Or you can go with a light green salad and some French bread.
Green Acorn Squash with Honey Vinaigrette, tender and so delicious.
Equipment and Ingredients used to prepare this recipe
Figs and Seared Duck Breasts
- 35 mins total
- 5 mins prep
- 30 mins cook
- serves 3 people
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 large garlic clove, finely grated
1 tablespoon rosemary leaves finely chopped
1 teaspoon rosemary leaves finely chopped
¼ teaspoon black ground pepper
2 12-ounces each duck breasts, patted dry and scored crosshatch pattern into the skin, do not pierce the flesh underneath.
6 fresh figs, halved
Juice of ½ lemon and lemon wedges for serving
olive oil to drizzle over it
In a small bowl combine the lemon zest, garlic, and 1 tablespoon rosemary with sea salt and pepper. Mix well and rub the mixture all over both breasts.
Flip the duck pieces over, remove the skillet from the heat, and scatter the figs and remaining 1 teaspoon rosemary all over the figs in the skillet but not on top of the duck.
Place the skillet in the oven to roast for 5 minutes for medium.
Remove the skillet from the oven and turn on the broiler. Transfer the duck breasts to a cutting board, cover them with aluminum foil and let them rest for about 5 minutes.
Return the skillet still containing the figs and place it under the broiler for about 1 to 2 minutes until the figs are lightly charred. Keep a keen eye on the figs as not to burn.
Slice the duck and serve with the figs on the side. Squeeze lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil all over the duck and the figs.
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