Thursday, December 24, 2009

duck shopping.

"You came here for duck breast?" The butcher's eyes twinkled from behind the counter at Puritan Poultry.

"Yep!" I said confidently. This is the response I always hope for when standing at the meat counter. Up until this point, I had only received it when inquiring about different types of intestines or insisting on grinding my own meats. "Got any tips for me?"

Grinning, he ushered me and my wrapped pair of duck breasts to the end of the market stall and told me precisely how to prepare my Christmas eve feast.

I'll be following his animated step-by-step instructions.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place a heavy-bottomed non-stick pan on stovetop over high heat.

While oven and pan are warming, score the skin of the breasts in a cross-hatched pattern, taking care to not cut score the fat. (He illustrates the pattern on the back of a ticket.)

Season with salt, pepper, and a bit of oil.

When the pan is good and hot, place breasts on bottom, skin side down. (Him: "Tsssss!" with explosive hand movement.)

Sear for 3-4 minutes or until the skin starts to curl up around the edges.

Turn and immediately slide pan into oven.

Cook for 10 minutes for medium rare and remove from pan to rest.

While breasts are in the oven, thinly slice onions or shallots, garlic, and rosemary.

As duck is resting, cook above in pan until soft.

Then, add 1/2 cup of red wine to pan (Him: "You have red wine, right?" Me: "Obviously.")

Reduce wine, then at the last second, add a tablespoon of butter (Him: "Shhh...")

And you're ready to go. (He smacks his lips. "Voila!")

Serve with your choice of sides. (Him: "Ratatouille, perhaps? You know that just means roasted vegetables.")

And, the rest of the wine.


That's my plan for tonight. Wish me luck. And a Merry Christmas to all!

1 comment:

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