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Cooking Seared Duck? Help and ideas!

Hi guys, so my bf's birthday is coming up and I'm thinking of making seared duck breast (medium) which is his ultimate favorite dish!

What sauce would u recommend? I did a bit of research online and the common ones are berry based sauce, fig sauce, pinot noir and (cherry) port wine sauce? Personally, I love chimichurri sauce but I realise that it usually goes with steak, what do think of serving it with seared duck?

I'm planning to do 2 practise dish before cooking it on his birthday! Anyway, I never cooked duck or seared any meat before,

can someone GUIDE me through this, from choosing the duck to trimming and cleaning it and cooking it?

Anyway I don't have a car, so my source of ingredients are from Wholefoods, Target, Marina, Ranch 99 and a small farmers market. Hopefully they sell the ingredients that I need! Also, any idea what kind of veggies to go with this dish too? All ur help will be greatly appreciated!

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  1. http://www.ottolenghi.co.uk/seared-du...

    I made this Ottolenghi recipe recently and it was perfect! I'd not done one before and I also wasn't turned on by the super fruity sauces. Loved this.

    1. I made this recipe for Christmas and it was very nice.
      To keep the duck skin crispy, put the mushrooms under the breast rather than on top.
      I got the duck breast from Whole Foods and the only issue for me was that the pieces in the package were not uniformly sized, complicating the cooking time.
      Ranch 99 in my area does have frozen breasts as well as whole birds.
      Good luck and remember to save the duck fat for future use.

      2 Replies
      1. I prefer duck breasts more on the rare side, but any way except dried out is good. Two recipes I used with happy results were one with green peppercorn sauce (pretty simple, and I think from Gourmet many years ago); and another with tart cherry sauce--you could use dried, which was a more complicated recipe with many herbs and other ingredients and takes several steps. Then guests preferred the green peppercorn version. Of course. I liked the tart cherry sauce myself. (hey! I am from Michigan, whaddya expect?)

        1 Reply
        1. re: alfairfax

          Or, fresh cherries, pitted, mixed with warm ruby port and some deglaze from the pan. Very simple and easy.

        2. Oh ya, I want to cook it medium not medium rare, how do I know when it is cooked perfectly to medium? I do not own food thermometer or any fancy equipment I saw online?

          I saw gordon ramsay seasoning the duck with salt and pepper only, won't it taste bland?

          2 Replies
          1. re: cgxy96

            130-5 F will give you a Medium. Make sure you rest the Meat at least 15 min. before cutting it.
            It will not taste bland with just Salt and Pepper, it will taste like Duck.
            It is important to score the Fat and cook it to render most of the fat out of the skin. So you do most of the cooking on the Skin side.
            Duck is very versatile. Mushrooms to Raspberries are all possibilities.What are some of your S.O. favorite Flavors or side Dishes? You can Sprigboard off of them.
            Also this should be on the Home Cooking Board

          2. I decided to sear the duck with s&p to medium and serve it with blanched veggies, potato puree and orange apricot reduction sauce. What do you think folks?

            1. But I don't know how to check the doness of duck? I saw that you can do the finger test on chicken, pork and beef but I think duck is different? Does it cook faster or slower? And do I sear the duck on medium or medium high?

              2 Replies
              1. IMO the point of having 'duck breast' is to enjoy the flavor of the duck. The 'berry sauces' are mild and enhance the flavor. and tend to lighten the greasy note from the duck.
                All any hot sauce will do is make the duck breast taste like hot sauce.
                You could save some money buy buying some taco chips, covering them with a hot sauce and dribbling on some 'duck-like' flavoring from a tube. LOL

                1 Reply
                1. re: Puffin3

                  I liked the one I did (above) because the flavoring was orange and star anise so you got some fruit but not super sweet. I don't like cherry anything so that would get eliminated.

                2. I recently cooked duck for the first time. Here's the link to the method that worked for me and has worked since then http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9276.... I'm not a fan of fruit-based sauces so I served with a simple herb mushroom pan sauce

                  1. You could also make duck confit, super classic French style, and serve with potatoes and salad. Would be lovely, and you don't have to do a sauce at all!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: SFGourmande

                      Duck Breast does not yield a very nice Confit.

                    2. To hop on OPs thread, I know it's not traditional but does anyone just use skinless duck breast similar to regular old skinless chicken breast?

                      12 Replies
                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                        GF, that sounds like one of the biggest wastes I've ever heard of :) Nooooooo.

                        1. re: c oliver

                          Why is that the usual response? It's still worthy food.

                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                            Not use the skin?!?!?!?!? Blasphemy :)

                        2. re: fldhkybnva

                          An ideal duck breast should have crispy skin on top of a layer of that wonderful fat and a nice pink breast underneath. To remove any of these would diminish the experience greatly.

                          1. re: zackly

                            OK, I've had skinless duck which was just as worthwhile eating as skin-on duck. They are both worth eating in my mind, but to each her own.

                          2. re: fldhkybnva

                            There are definitely applications for skinless Duck Breast
                            They work very much like other Game Tenderloins.

                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                I was really kidding around with you, f. I just can't imagine not having the skin and the fat :) It's a treat for us so we go whole hog, er, duck.

                                1. re: c oliver

                                  I know :) It's true, I rarely eat it so usually keep the skin but was just wondering in general in case SO decides he wants to take up hunting :)

                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                              Actually this is what I regularly do- I take the skin off of the duck breast, but of course I save it to render separately for maximum crisping and recoup of nicely rendered fat. The fat gets strained and set aside for gradual use. I'll sprinkle the perfectly crisped gribenes with salt and toss them on top of the sliced duck, with potatoes, with brussel sprouts, on salad, or I snack on them on their own.

                              This leaves me with a lovely lean piece of meat to sear to desired doneness without simultaneously worrying about how much fat has rendered. To me, it becomes a much simpler process (except that the start, when I'm separating the raw skin from the flesh- it's fairly easy with a sharp knife or shears.) Whever I followed the "scoring/pan searing/roasting" method, I'd never get that thin, crisp layer of skin that I love with poultry- there was always too much unrendered fat for my liking by the time the flesh was cooked the way I like it (between medium and medium rare).

                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                  Yes, hot pan with the skinless duck breast, and cook just like steak!

                                  I tend to sear at a slight lower temperature because I like to season the duck with a spice/sugar/salt blend (plus a touch of oil or rendered fat) a few hours in advance, and I dont want the sugar to burn. usually I do 1 part sugar to 2 parts salt and add whatever strikes my fancy from the spice rack (and if I have it, complementary fresh herbs and citrus zest).

                            2. I would saute skin side down then flip and finish in hot oven to facilitate browning/crisping of the skin. Remove from oven, pour off fat, add minced shallots & deglaze with 50/50% red wine & a good aged balsamic vinegar.Reduce and finish with whole sweet butter to thicken. Invest in a bottle of good balsamic for special dishes like this. This is not the place for the $2.99 stuff.

                              1. Been a little while since I cooked duck breasts. My last one I did in a dashi broth with baby Bok Choy

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: scubadoo97

                                  Mmm. Could you give a little more detail please?

                                  1. re: c oliver

                                    Made a 5 spice rub for the duck breast. Seared them and braised the bok choy in dashi

                                    Sliced and served the duck with the the dashi from the bok choy as a broth. Very simple prep and tasty