Saturday, August 10, 2013

5 spice duck breast

I had promised my Father when were in Naramata earlier this summer that I would cook one of his favourite things, duck breast, when we returned home.  So last week we went down to Granville Island and picked up two magret duck breasts.  We chose these as they were far more substantial than the regular breasts.  As it turned out it was a good job that we did as we had an unexpected guest for dinner and there was plenty of meat for three.  I love asian style duck and so decided to use some chinese 5 spice to flavour the duck.

2 duck breasts
2 tablespoons of 5 spice
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of white wine

Score the skin in diamond shapes (being careful to cut through the fat but not the meat) this helps the fat to render out. Rub the 5 spice and salt all over the breasts.

Place them skin side down in a heated frying pan and cook on medium high to high until most of the fat has melted and rendered out of the skin.  I poured about a cup of delicious duck fat in to a container to use at a later date to cook some potatoes in.

When the skin is crispy and most of the fat has rendered off pour as much fat off as you can and turn the breasts over.

Duck breast is really best served medium in my opinion, it becomes tough and rather unappealing if it is well done.  The best way to tell when it is ready is by pushing it and it should still give a little.  This is something that comes with experience but I found this very good tutorial on how to gauge the doneness of meat with the finger test.

When the duck is medium remove from the pan, and let rest for 5 minutes, otherwise when you slice it all the juices will spill out.

While the duck is resting pour off any more of the fat in the frying pan and add the wine and stir and cook down until the raw wine taste has gone and all the nice crusty brown bits have been incorporated.

Slice in thick slice and serve with the wine jus poured around the meat.

I served this with a green salad made entirely from my garden and some lovely local new potatoes, and enjoyed our meal on yet another warm summer evening on our back deck.

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