Apr 13, 2011

duck

Duck breasts recently crossed my path.  Quickly in the pan, a meal for one on yet another night that will continue until too late.    We've made them before, last year, just after Spain.  For friends who've since departed for Australia.  On their bicycles. They recently started changing their plans, perhaps making Australia less likely, but they're still cycling.  And their friends are living vicariously through there adventures.  So let's rather remember last year's meal.

A & I had just discovered duck breasts.  Well, we knew they were out there, just never found ourselves in situations where they could be trusted to be good.  Until a fortuitous special offer came our way.  It lead to duck prosciutto, still my happiest charcuterie experiment of the last year.  And possibly ever.  But we also cooked some.

A assembled Béarnaise, while I worked the furnace.  Think steak.   Heavy pan, hot.    Score the skin, rub with salt, pepper, coriander.  Sear the skin side first, you don't have to fiddle with it, just let it absorb the heat.  Watch it shrink.  Then the other side, basting and browning.  Then skin again, because you can make it beautifully crisp.  Off the heat, then let it rest. 



It is quite colourful inside, and juicy.  The Béarnaise is glorious, but mustard would not lack in any way.  A potato, browned in the same pan, goes on the side; while something green and crunchy completes the plate.

We ate outside, in the garden, as the late summer evening faded around us.  They had brought wine, we had a bottle too.  There was laughter, and a cat waiting to reclaim his table.  One of those nights.  They're in Albania now.

4 comments:

Anairam said...

Duck breasts are fine, but it would be infinitely more helpful if someone could tell me how to do oxtail. Which I have never done before. Actually, it is probably too late now - it is already in the oven.

jvdh said...

A - I would go with red wine and plenty of time. Enjoy.

Koek! said...

OMG, the deepest-red duck breasts with bernaise? That sounds despicably decadent... And of course now I'm going to have to make it. Not sure where to get breasts from. Think legs will work as well?

Robyn

jvdh said...

R - The breasts are particularly good. I want to say voluptuous, but that might be in poor taste. Can you find a whole duck and harvest?