Allie and I don’t cook much heavy food. Actually, we don’t cook or consume much meat at all. You may have noticed we lean hard toward fruits and vegetables. We both believe that a good peach or watermelon or tomato can soar miles above meat in terms of taste, aesthetics, and how your food will make you feel.
But sometimes you hunger for a burger. Or a steak. Or something decadent that you can’t pinpoint but hit the market in an attempt to. On a recent search, my mind landed on the bullseye: duck. I had never cooked duck before. Well, quack quack.
On the rare occasion we cook something dark and heavy, we lift it with something light. We lift skirt steak with chimichurri, swordfish with lemon, hot soups with cool yogurt, burgers with pickled onions, bourbon with fruit. (Again, this is rare stuff. Allie eats red meat maybe four times a year!)
Duck… we lift duck with parley salad and a nice lemon zap.
Duck is pretty easy to cook. I can’t believe it took me so long to try. You don’t even need oil. The duck fat sizzles, renders, and becomes “oil.” After cooking your duck, you rest the bird so the juices don’t leak out (and flavor with them). I followed a granular duck breast recipe from Leite’s Culinaria. The recipe comes from a former Gourmet food editor. It’s nice and thorough, which is what I want when I cook something I’ve never cooked before (to learn as much as I can).
When your duck is finished, you’ll notice a pool of duck fat left in your pan. How to get rid of this mess? Make roasted brussels sprouts. -Chris