The perfect duck breast has proven a little illusive for me but I’ve just tried this one out. It was by A McKenna (@goosnargh_duck) who specialise in raising corn fed chickens and goosnargh ducks. I managed to bag a couple of plump, Goosnargh duck breasts from them at the Artisan food market in Wilmslow, Cheshire. The flame and I are quite partial to a plump breast and it’s always a help when said proprietor hands over a neat, witty cooking instruction to help you on the way.
I have replicated the text almost word for word. There might be the odd gag thrown in!
1- Take four duck breasts, don’t trim them (I always used to!), lay them flesh side down on a board.
2 – Get a sharp knife and score the skin all the way through to the flesh, don’t cut the flesh, just let the blade touch the flesh. The big thing here is to make sure you score all the way to the edge of the breast so that as the skin shrinks during cooking it doesn’t pull the flesh and make it tough.
3 – Season the skin (only the skin side it says here) with a generous amount of salt and freshly ground black pepper.
4 – Take a solid, heavy frying pan and turn the heat to three quarters on your hob to get it going. Lay the duck skin side down in the cold pan, put the pan on the heat and turn down to about half. I have an induction hob so I did on 6 (out of 9).
5 – Now it says, “Do Not Touch Anything, do not move the pan, don’t even think about it”. Apparently what is going to happen over the next ten minutes is that the fat under the skin will slowly melt and the skin will go brown and crispy.
6 – when the skin starts to colour around the outside you are ready to move on. This should take about 7 minutes. The pan will have a good 1cm of duck fat in it and all of the duck fat will have melted.
7 – now season the flesh side (not before it insists), then turn the duck breasts over and cook for two minutes. Then increase the temperature to full for a further 1 minute.
8 – take the pan off the heat and leave the breasts in the pan for 5 minutes while you prepare your side dishes.
9 – then slice. It will then be very sexy indeed. See pics for proof!!
You can keep the rendered duck fat for cooking roasties. Four duck breasts will produce about 200ml of fat.
I served my duck on a bed of mustard flavoured puy lentils.
Thanks to A McKenna of Goosnargh Duck twitter @goosnargh_duck
The artisan market operates in Cheshire most Sundays through the year visit http://www.theartisanmarket.co.uk