Healthy, easy-to-make grilled duck

July 23, 2008 4:24:23 PM PDT
Chef Bruce Aidells shares a healthy duck dish that's easy to make.

Broiled (or Grilled) Duck Breast
Makes 4 servings

  • 2 Whole duck breasts, halved, boned with skin intact, fresh or defrosted

    Gascon Marinade

  • 1 ½ teaspoons coarse (kosher) salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons minced shallots
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ teaspoon crumbled bay leaf
  • ¼ teaspoon crumbled thyme leaves
  • 12 black peppercorns, lightly crushed
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • Freshly ground pepper

    Method:

    1. 1 DAY BEFORE SERVING, trim off all excess fat from the duck breasts. In a bowl combine the salt, shallots, parsley, bay leaf, thyme, peppercorns, and garlic.
    2. Roll the duck breasts in the mixture and stack them, skin side down, in the bowl. Cover bowl with a towel or plastic wrap and let stand, refrigerated, 12 to 24 hours, turning breasts over once.
    3. 30 MINUTES BEFORE SERVING, wipe or rinse the duck breasts to remove excess seasonings and any liquid that may have exuded during the marinating time. Discard marinade and allow breasts to come to room temperature. Pat ducks dry.
    4. To broil, set the broiler rack about 4 inches from heat. Score the skin and place duck breasts skin side down on broiler rack.
    5. 8 OR 9 MINUTES BEFORE SERVING, broil 1 minute in order to sear flesh side and melt excess skin-side fat from reflected heat. Turn breasts over and broil about 4 minutes longer. Breasts will "tighten up" and become thicker. With thumb and middle finger, pinch meat from under skin end to flesh side to test for doneness. If the flesh springs back quickly it is rare; if there is some "give" it is medium.
    6. Transfer breasts to carving board and let rest 1 to 2 minutes. To serve, thinly slice meat crosswise diagonally. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper, then fan each breast out on an individual heated serving plate. Serve at once.
    (Can also be grilled, see below for instructions) Grilling method:
    1. Score the fat with knife both ways, down into the skin, but not into the meat. Trim any excess fat but leave a little skin to help the rendering (Rendering helps get crispy skin getting rid of the fat)
    2. For rub use: fresh bay leaves, garlic, fresh thyme, little salt, fresh ground pepper, shallots and parsley
    3. Mix together and rub all over the duck
    4. To render the skin; put duck skin side down into cast iron frying pan on a medium grill. Leave grill uncovered. Brown slowly until the skin is nicely browned and plenty of fat is rendered, about 8-10 minutes. Check breast after 5 minutes to make sure it is not browning or burning to fast. Reduce heat if necessary.
    5. Remove breasts from pan and flip over and grill flesh side down directly over a medium hot fire. Close grill and check after 4 minutes. Touch breasts for firmness. Once firm take out and tranfer to a platter.
    6. Let rest for 5 minutes then slice and serve.
    Where you can buy Liberty Ducks:

    Bi-Rite Market
    3639 18th St
    San Francisco, CA 94110

    Sunshine Market
    1115 Main Street
    Saint Helena

    Star Market in Berkeley
    368 Claremont Ave
    Berkeley

    Order at www.libertyducks.com.


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