This weekend would have been my Mom’s birthday weekend, and her absolute favourite meal in the world was Grilled Duck Breast. She was a very generous person, but she loved duck so much that she would often wait until my dad was on a business trip to defrost it so she wouldn’t have to share. She would always grill it too…I can still hear her saying, “All weather is grilling weather.” Perhaps, there’s a good chance she would be rolling her eyes and calling me a wimp because I opted to roast this rendition of duck due to snow. Nah…it’s foregone that she would have done that. Anyway, in her honor, I present to you my take on duck breast! I hope she’d be proud of this one!
Duck’s nutty gamey flavour is perfect for a nice cold day, and it pairs very nicely with wild rice, mashed potatoes, and most vegetables. Couple that with the myriad of sauces that complement duck very well (sweet toppings like blackberry or blueberry sauces and orange glaze or savory sauces like the Rosemary Cabernet one I used tonight), and you’ve got one protein that can be the center of endless possibility! Tonight, I paired the duck with Mashed Celery Root and sauteed shredded Brussels Sprouts and Mushrooms.
Time: 40 Minutes
- Boneless Duck Breast (1 is good for two portions)
- 1 Sprig of Rosemary per portion
- A little flour for the sauce
- Some Cabernet Sauvignon
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F
- Cut cross hatches in your duck deep enough to cut through the fat so it can render but not so deep that it goes into the meat. If you prefer, you can also cut the skin off and go without it, but leaving it on will give you a good base for the sauce and keep the meat from drying out. You can always cut it off when it’s on your plate, which is what I tend to do.
- Heat a heavy bottomed pan (I used my Mom’s enameled dutch oven for this part)
- Place the duck skin side down for a little while to get a nice sear and render quite a bit of the fat, and start to heat another (oven safe) pot while this happens.
- Once you’ve got a nice golden brown skin, move them to another heavy pot, place a rosemary sprig on top of each portion, and let the bottoms get a good sear
- Put the dutch oven in the oven, and cook until your duck gets to an internal temperature of about 160 degrees F
- When the duck gets to temperature, remove it and let it sit on a cutting board to finish cooking and allow juices to redistribute
- Turn your attention back to the dutch oven, which will have some more rendered fat in it. Whisk in a little flour to form the base of your roux
- Then whisk in your Cabernet, and allow it to thicken.
- Just as your sauce is finishing, slice your duck.
- Plate, Devour, and Enjoy!