DD: Rabbit season.
BB: Duck season.
DD: Rabbit season.
BB: Rabbit season.
DD: Duck season! Fire!
I could watch that ep of Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck a million times. Only 5 more watches to go.
I recently picked up a package of Luv-a-duck duck breasts and found this simple recipe in the very heavy (weightwise) cookbook by Thomas Keller, ad hoc at home. It's a simple recipe because the preparation for the duck can be done earlier in the day, leaving only the cooking to be done later.
And because the book showed the luscious duck breasts reclining on a bed of glossy, buttery vegetables, that's what I made to go with the duck. The original recipe includes kohlrabi rather than potatoes, but frankly, I wouldn't recognise a kohlrabi if it hit me on the nonce (and the greengrocer didn't have any, anyway). And the cookbook is right - the vegetables are perfect with the crispy-skinned, moist duck breast.
Pan-Roasted Duck Breasts
2 duck breast fillets
2 sprigs of thyme
2 bay leaves
Salt flakes, pepper, to season
1. Use a sharp knife to cut a 1/4-inch cross-hatch pattern into the duck skin; do not cut into the meat. Place the duck breasts skinside down on a plate, then season with salt and pepper. Finely grate some orange zest over each breast. Sprinkle a few drops of vinegar over each breast, then top with a sprig of thyme and a bay leaf. Turn the breasts over and season each breast with a pinch of salt. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 1 hour, or up to 12 hours.
2. Remove duck from the refrigerator. Blot any moisture from the duck breasts and season both sides of each breast with salt.
3. Pour some oil into a large frying pan over medium-low heat. Add the duck breasts skinside down, then cook, moving frequently to promote even browning. Use a large kitchen spoon to remove any melted duck fat to a metal bowl (store the rendered duck fat in the refrigerator and use for other dishes). Cook the duck for about 20 minutes, until the skin is very crisp. Then, turn the breast over and sizzle the flesh-side for 30 seconds. Transfer the duck breasts to a preheated 200C/400F oven and cook for 5 minutes.
4. Let the duck breasts rest (skinside down) for 5 minutes before slicing lengthwise and serving.
10-12 brussels sprouts
8 medium radishes (1-1 1/2 inches diameter)
4 tblsp butter
1 tblsp minced shallot
1/4 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp red wine vinegar
60ml (1/4 cup) chicken stock
salt and pepper
2 non-floury potatoes, such as desiree
1. Trim the root ends of the brussels sprouts and remove any tough outer leaves. Cut sprouts in half through the root end. Blanch the sprouts in a pot of salted boiling water for 5-7 minutes, until tender. Rinse under cold water and drain, then place on a tray in the refrigerator to chill.
2. Trim the green leaves from the radishes, then wash under cold water. Cut the radishes into quarters, or 6 wedges if they are large.
3. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat in a pan. Add the shallot and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring, until softened. Add the radishes, sugar and vinegar, season generously with salt and pepper, and add 30ml of the stock. Bring to a simmer, cover, then simmer gently for 8 minutes, until the radishes are crisp-tender. Cook a further 4 minutes to glaze the radishes, then set aside.
4. Peel and cut the potatoes into batons, then cook in a pan of salted boiling water until just tender, about 7 minutes. Drain thoroughly.
5. Bring the remaining 30ml of stock to the boil in a large pan, and whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter until emulsified. Add the brussels sprouts and potato and cook over high heat for 45 seconds. Add the radishes and any remaining liquid in the pan and heat through.
6. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper and a few drops of vinegar, to taste. Transfer the vegetables to a platter and serve with the duck.
Recipes adapted from ad hoc at home by Thomas Keller
Lovely fresh vegetables, and prepared duck breasts topped with orange zest, thyme and bay leaf.
After blanching the radishes and brussels sprouts, refresh under cold water to retain their bright colour.
The duck breasts are pan-fried to render the fat - there's lots of fat under the skin - and to crisp up the skin. Cooking the duck this way is also perfect for not overcooking the duck, as it is finished off briefly in the oven.
Serve the sliced duck with the rich, butter-glazed vegetables.
For an ad hoc meal, this is pretty impressive!