The key to making a piece of duck breast so tasty is remarkably easy, not to mention fast. There is just something about honey going with it that makes it taste extra delicious.
▪ Pat the fat with a paper towel, to withdraw moisture;
▪ Take any feather remains out with tweezers;
▪ Score the fat ever so slightly, without perforating the meat (criss-cross);
▪ Salt and pepper the fat and let set for 5 minutes;
▪ Use a skillet pan that has no plastic handle, as you will need to put it in the oven (if not available, just use a previously heated pizza pan);
▪ Make sure you have an oven set to 200ºC;
▪ Start cooking the duck breast, skin down, in a cold skillet, with a low temperature, gradually turning it up. This will ensure the fat melts, which helps form a crispy exterior and also a delicious sauce.
▪ Let the skin develop into a crispy looking delight, but never to the point at which you desire it, as it will develop a little more in the oven.
▪ Turn the duck over, and let the other side brown as well.
Just before finishing it off in the oven, drizzle with a bit of honey (I used Medronho (arbutus berry) honey, typical of the Algarve), skin side up, then turn the skin back onto the pan and bake in the oven for 5-7 minutes (this depends on how well done you like it). Add some rosemary stems and another drizzle of honey.
Once out of the oven, let it rest at least 10 minutes, still inside the skillet, checking if the skin is crispy to perfection (if it is, turn it side up so it doesn’t get too crispy). In case you really like it pink, let it rest on top of a cold surface, just don’t throw away the fat and drizzle the remaining juices.
Serve with any side dish of your liking. Leftovers (if any) go very nice in a quick sandwich with rye bread and pickled beetroot, or a rocket salad with orange and roasted red peppers (at least the salad part makes anyone feel a little less guilty).
By Megan Melling
Photo by: Megan Melling
Megan Melling’s journey into the food world started three years ago when she decided to enrol in Cookery and Food Production in Portugal. She was born American, but grew up in the Algarve, so she gets the best of two opposite culinary cultures. She is currently working as a cook in Lisbon and documenting all of her personal recipes on her blog www.melsvittles.wordpress.com