I love the rich luxurious texture of duck meat. I’m not sure who is more crazy about this delicious bird, me or the Chinese. Duck is one of my favourite proteins and it is easier to cook than you think. I will start with the breasts this week and next time we will tackle the whole bird and I will show you how easy it is to roast whole.
Duck meat is rich and dark and loves fruity sauces and Asian flavours.
Duck meat although high in fat, the fat lies under the skin and you cook it out, so if you are watching your fat intake you can still have this delicious protein if you remove the skin. A half-cup of roasted duck meat has just 140 calories, about the same as roasted chicken without skin.
I have discovered and since endorsed the best duck meat in town. The Duck Father SA prides itself on its grain fed, free range, hormone free and anti-biotic free ducks – no wonder it tastes so good. Most people only eat duck when they dine out, and not many restaurants serve duck which is such a pity. Eating the same proteins all the time can get a little boring, so it would be nice to see duck feature more often on restaurant menus. Karibu in the V&A Waterfront always has duck. Chef Jamie Rowntree is passionate about duck and serves his with his homemade fig jam, and it’s really yummy.
Ducks, like other types of poultry, are a good source of protein, iron, selenium, B vitamins, and zinc.
Duck Breasts with Spicy Plum Sauce
This sauce works well with chicken, lamb, pork and duck. It stores well in the fridge if you have any left over. It freezes well, so why not make extra while plums are still in season and freeze it to use throughout the year. In fact, duck LOVES all kinds of stone fruit: peaches, apricots, plums and nectarines, fresh or sun dried.
Ingredients for the Plum Sauce:
60ml cold water
60ml red wine vinegar
1/2 cinnamon stick
1 clove crushed garlic
1 cm thinly sliced ginger
1 star anise
1/4 chilli sliced
1 strips pith less orange peel
250g red juicy plums destined and chopped
In a saucepan place all the ingredients except the plums, simmer till the sugar has dissolved.
Add the plums and summertime the plums are soft.
Now remove the star anise and cinnamon stick, cool the mixture and then liquidize till smooth, strain and set aside.
Ingredients for the Duck:
Remember cooking duck is different to cooking chicken and turkey, because it’s actually a red meat. As with other red meats, some people prefer to eat duck that’s cooked medium or medium rare so it’s still pink inside so it’s juicy and tender, but you can cook it the way you like best. Chicken and turkey need to be cooked all the way.
4 x “Duck Father” duck breasts
Salt to taste
Ground white pepper to taste
1 tbls Ground cumin
Get started by scoring the skin in a criss-cross pattern; only go through the skin and the fat, and stop before you reach the flesh.
Rub salt and pepper into the skin and then turn the breasts over and season the underside with salt, pepper and cumin.
Heat a frying pan and place the breasts skin side down in the pan and fry to the fat renders out and the skin is golden and crisp, about 7 minutes.
Now turn the breasts over and sear for a further 4-5 minutes; don’t overcook beyond medium. I like mine medium rare
Remove from the pan and rest before serving with plum sauce that you have heated in the same pan that you cooked the duck in so that you get every delicious but of glaze out of the pan
Whatever you do, don’t throw the duck fat away; use it for roasting potatoes – they are delicious.
© Jenny Morris 2019