Ciao, welcome back to my blog!
In today's post, I will share with you two duck breast recipe ideas.
In my opinion, there is nothing better than a crispy aromatic duck when preparing a fancy dinner.
When I first moved to London, I used to order Thai or Chinese takeaways with duck dishes but I have always been very curious to learn how to cook it properly, so during lockdown I decided to give it a go.
Admittedly, the first attempt was not a success, I didn't really know what I was doing.
Simple duck recipes are the best solution when you are a beginner but you still want to enjoy a yummy meal. Pan-fried duck breast recipes are a great alternative to slow cook duck breast recipes or oven-roasted duck breast recipes when you don't have much time on your hands as well.
The two easy duck breasts recipes below will be ready in under 30 minutes and won't require any fancy tool or any specific skill.
Only a few ingredients, the simplest way possible.
On top of it, they are also two healthy duck recipes with plenty of vegetables: the first one has a broccoli side, while the second still has a tasty side of mushrooms, onions and carrots to go with a rich orange sauce for duck.
They are both pan-fried duck breasts recipes, however, you will need to use briefly the oven for a few minutes. Pan-fried duck is the best way to cook duck because it is quick and easy as opposed to a slow roast duck.
Roast duck recipes can be challenging as it takes longer and it is also very easy to overcook the duck fillets.
Cooking duck breasts is a little more challenging compared to roasting duck legs because the breast is where the meat is leaner. It is crucial to keep the skin on, to make sure that the duck fillets will have enough fat to prevent them from being dry while cooking.
To know more about why is duck breast is tough, check this article on the topic from Serious Eats.
That's why I am going to share with you the trickiest part when cooking duck: how to achieve a perfect medium-rare, crisp duck breast.
My method to have crisp skin outside while keeping the inside extremely tender is all about timing. Duck might look similar to chicken, however, it is actually closer to beef as it is red meat. Therefore, is super easy to overcook, which will make it tough and chewy.
The step by step recipes below will help you if you are a beginner in the kitchen or if you have never tried to cook duck before.
Make sure to stick to my timing: it will make a huge difference to obtain excellent duck breasts.
Pan-seared duck breasts with broccoli
Ingredients for 2:
250g duck breasts
We are going to sear the duck on the pan first and then finish it in the oven so before anything else, turn on your oven and set the temperature at 200 degrees.
If you don't have a pan that is suitable for oven cooking like me (the ones I own have the plastic handle, unfortunately), place a small tray in the oven to make sure it will be scorching hot later on.
Start scoring the skin of the duck making sure to be very gentle and not cutting the meat underneath. That would cause the meat to lose its juices and therefore to turn dry while cooking which we want to avoid at all costs.
Season the duck breasts with salt and pepper on both sides and massage the seasoning with your fingers to allow it to be absorbed quickly and evenly.
Place the duck breasts on a COLD PAN on the skin side: this might seem rather odd but it is a fundamental step to achieve crisp skin. Allowing the duck to gradually warm-up will melt the fat in the skin slowly maintaining the meat tender inside without having a thermal shock.
Set the stove at medium heat and let it cook for exactly 10 minutes without the lid on (set an alarm to be precise).
As you can see, the fat from the skin has melted so now turn the breasts on the other side and cook them on medium heat for exactly 2 minutes.
After two minutes, save the fat, put it aside and place the pan in the oven for 4 minutes (or place the duck on the hot tray that you put in the oven at the beginning).
Take out the pan-seared duck breasts and place them on a wooden board and let them rest for 10 minutes.
Cutting the meat before allowing it to rest will compromise the result as it will make it harder.
Utilise the duck fat to cook the broccoli in the pan adding a drizzle of soy sauce.
It will take the same time for the duck to be ready as they only need a few minutes to absorb the duck fat while keeping a crunchy texture and a nice bright green colour.
After 10 minutes of rest, the duck breasts are ready to be sliced.
Plate them with the broccoli side that should have a nice duck flavour.
Enjoy with some balsamic vinegar if you like (I didn't have it but it would have been a delightful combo).
Orange duck recipe or confit de canard recipe
For the side:
Half red onion
A teaspoon of soy sauce
Extra virgin olive oil
Orange sauce for duck
A tbs of honey
A tbs of soy sauce
A teaspoon of mustard
The juice and the zest of an orange
The juice of a half lemon
The fat from the duck's skin
The duck will be initially cooked in the same way as explained above, but the side and the orange sauce will make it a little bit more special: I honestly think that this is the best sauce for duck I have ever tried!
The duck sauce recipe is super simple and you can do it in 5 minutes while the vegetables are cooking.
Start preparing the side first:
Chop the leek and the red onion, peel the carrot and the mushrooms.
Set a medium pan on the stove on high heat and drizzle with olive oil.
Add the vegetables and let them cook for 10 minutes uncovered.
Orange duck sauce recipe:
In a small saucepan on high heat, add all the ingredients.
Bring to boil and let it simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated (it will take 10-15 minutes).
In the meantime, you can cook the meat.
When the duck is ready, add the melted skin fat to the sauce to add extra flavour. If it is still a bit too watery, add half teaspoon of flour and stir well to avoid lumps.
Press the sauce through a sieve and pour it on the sliced duck breasts with the help of a spoon.
Et voila', the duck with orange sauce is ready!
Which recipe would you prefer?
Let me know in the comments below!
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