It most definitely, however, does NOT taste like chicken.
Here is a very safe and almost foolproof way to make duck.
1 duck breast, as large as you can find
Brine: kosher salt, brown sugar, orange juice
Cracked black pepper, salt to taste
Day before or morning before: prepare brine by dissolving 1/2 cup of kosher salt, 1/4 cup of brown sugar in water. Add about 2 cups of orange juice. Add enough of this mixture to just cover the duck and brine, either in a large ziploc bag or a plastic container, in the refrigerator.
|Duck breast in brine|
Sprinkle non-fat side with salt and pepper. Preheat a cast iron pan on medium heat for about four minutes or until just visibly smoking. Put the duck breast in the pan, fat side down. Don't move the breast around. Just let it sit for about 4-5 minutes; after this time there will be quite a copious quantity of rendered duck fat in the pan. Hold the duck with tongs and pour off the fat. return to the heat another 2-3 minutes.
Flip the duck and sauté for 6-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the breast (about one inch including fat layer is normal). Cover the pan with aluminum foil and place in a 200-degree oven until you're ready to serve.
To serve, on cutting board, carefully remove the fat layer with a very sharp knife. Slice the breast across the grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices. The duck should be rare; red in the middle radiating to pink at the edges. If you or someone else prefers medium rare (anything more cooked than this is not recommended) just put the slices that you want done back in the pan, which should still be hot. If it isn't, heat on medium until it's cooked to the desired doneness.
Serve immediately with accompanying sauce and whatever side dish you have prepared.
|Duck with haricots fin, pommes de terre Dauphinoise and mushroom sauce|
4 C shiitake and pleurot mushrooms, sliced (any mushrooms are fine)
3/4 cup finely chopped shallots
3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 C white or rosé wine
1 C chicken broth
1 C demiglace sauce (commercial is fine, or perhaps you can get some from your butcher. There is no substitute).
1/2 C Italian or flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 T butter
Truffle oil or olive oil
Crème fraîche (optional)
|Ingredients for mushroom sauce|
In a sauté or sauce pan, sauté the mushrooms in oil on medium heat until cooked and browned. Set aside. In the same pan, sauté the shallots on medium for about ten minutes, or until thoroughly cooked. Add the garlic and cook another three minutes or so. Set aside, but not with the mushrooms.
In the same pan, reduce the wine on medium heat until halved in volume, about ten minutes. Add the chicken broth and reduce uncovered for another ten minutes. Add the demiglace sauce and cook for another five minutes. Add back the shallot-garlic mixture and bring to a simmer. Pour the sauce mixture into a large container (I use a 4-cup glass measuring cup) and hand-blend the sauce until smooth, using a hand blender (alternatively, pour into a blender or a food processor and blend until smooth).
Pour the sauce back into the sauce pan and bring to gentle simmer. Add the mushrooms. Add butter and whisk until thoroughly combined. Add 1/2 cup or so of crème fraîche, if desired, and blend thoroughly. Add parsley and cracked black pepper to taste. Serve.