Monday, January 2, 2012


Click below to listen to Chefs Jackie and Jeff talk about these recipes and tips:

Don't duck Duck Breast. It's the simplest thing in the world to cook, and your family or guests will think you're a culinary rock star! If you're afraid of cutting up a duck (it's a lot like cutting up a chicken), have your butcher do it for you. Be sure to leave as much of the skin on the breast pieces as possible -- it adds flavor.


Duck fat is being rediscovered by home culinarians in a big way. You can buy it in many grocery stores and specialty shops. It adds a rich flavor to recipes.

Resist the temptation to remove skin from duck breasts. You're removing over half the flavor if you do.

Save all the parts of your duck to make duck stock, or confit.

"Fond", or as Chef Jackie says "the darling parts" are the crispy bits in the bottom of your saute or frying pan that are a shame to waste. Use a flavorful liquid (wine, stock, vermouth, brandy, etc.) to deglaze these tasty bits and use them in your sauces and gravies.


Courtesy of Chef Jeff Calley © 2011

2 Fresh duck breast, skin on
1 Tbsp Canola Oil

1/2 cup Dry vermouth, or white wine
1/2 cup Fresh cherries, pitted
1 cup Cream
1/2 cup Grated parmesan
Salt To taste
Pepper To taste

With a sharp knife, score the skin on the breast in a criss-cross pattern. This prevents the skin from shrinking and curling up the breast during cooking. Lightly salt and pepper the breasts. Heat up an oven safe saute pan with canola oil till you can coat the pan lightly. Over low-medium heat, add the duck breasts to the pan, skin side down. Then wait. Don't be too eager. You want the skin to slowly cook. Duck skin is typically quite thick, and you want your skin to reduce in thickness 50% or more, while slowly browning the skin. The meat will be rich, dark pink.

When the skin is nicely browned, flip the breast and cook for 3 minutes on the other side. Remove the pan to a 350 degree oven for another 5 minutes. For rare to medium rare, you want the internal temperature to be between 120 and 130 degrees.

Remove the duck and set aside to stay warm. Remove all but 2 Tablespoons of the fat, but none of the "darling bits". Add vermouth or wine and deglaze the fond over a low-medium stove. Add the cherries and a little heat under the pan to reduce the liquid and cook the cherries, about 2 minutes. Add the cream and parmesan and stir till lightly bubbly. Place breast on serving platter and spoon the sauce over. Serve immediately.

NOTE: Save all that duck fat you removed from your pan. It's good stuff to cook with!

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