Duck is definitely an underrated meat option in America, where the chicken and turkey reign supreme at the dinner table. And that’s just wrong! There are so many delicious possibilities with duck, from a crispy-skinned magret to a fall-of-the-bone duck leg confit.
Perhaps it’s that people seem to think that cooking with duck is fussy, complicated and too “gourmet” for them, and nothing could be further from the truth; duck is simple and incredibly versatile, and all it takes is a pan, a little prep work and some tips to get the satisfaction of a beautifully browned, crackling crispy duck breast, every time. Right now is the perfect time to give duck meat it’s fair time in the sun, and cook something different tonight!
Although there are many different types of duck, the most common are Moulard and Muscovy, as well as the classic Peking so used in Chinese cooking. But there’s something incredibly French about duck, and not in a sophisticated and exclusive cuisine sort of way, but more of a rustic, comforting and hearty type of cooking. The flavors of duck magret are earthy and rich, and when cooked, the rendered fat gives it a luxurious mouth feel that has little to do with the price of the dish.
Especially during the fall months, when we’re veering away from grilling and salads, duck makes for a fabulous transition, adding richness without heaviness (which we won’t need till the winter), and pairing wonderfully with orchard fruits like apples. When cooking duck magret, save that flavorful rendered fat – you can sauté the most amazing potatoes of your life with it!
- 2 raw duck magret breasts
- 3 cups white cabbage, finely shredded
- 1 Granny Smith apple, cut into strips (peel on)
- 1 Red Delicious apple, cut into strips (peel on)
- ½ lemon, juiced
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves
- ½ cup fresh parsley
- 3 tbsp. Toasted almonds, sliced
- 8 tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp. Sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large bowl, mix the cabbage, apples, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Toss to coat and reserve in the fridge, covered.
- Score the top of the magret (where the layer of fat is) with a sharp knife. How : cut diagonally in one direction, end to end, then score in the other direction, creating a diamond-like, hash mark pattern. Note: don’t cut into the meat itself, but rather cut halfway down the fat.
- Preheat the oven to 375 F.
- In a pre-heated non-stick pan, cook fat-side down, for about 2-3 minutes, until golden. Discard the rendered fat, and transfer to a roasting pan, middle rack. Cook 8 a 10 minutes, until medium-rare.
- Let it rest 10 minutes, covered.
- Prepare the dressing: heat up the balsamic vinegar in small saucepan at low heat, simmer until reduced by half.
- Add basil and parsley to the cabbage remoulade.
- Serve the magret, sliced thinly, over a bed of the remoulade. Note : serve about ½ a magret per person. Sprinkle with almonds, and add the dressing.