Decadence called and I answered.
I had bought the magret duck after watching an episode of No Reservations in which duck was prominently featured. I cannot remember the episode but it inceptioned deep into my brain and unwavering desire for duck.
May I digress for a moment though and talk about my deep, unrepentant love of Anthony Bourdain? It’s my blog, so that question is rhetorically asked to myself, and I grant myself permission. It might be cliché and I never really had a “bad boy” phase, but I really dig his devil-may-care attitude. Why shouldn’t you? He has one of the single most desired jobs in the world and took a rather unorthodox path to getting there. That deserves respect, in my book.
I am also painfully aware that he likely has a disdain for food bloggers, and to that point, I will spare two facts in my defense: I do not Instagram every single dinner I eat, and I certainly spend my fair share of time eating/enjoying/seeking out less than prestigious or trendy food. Hell, I subsisted most of last year eating avocados and almonds for dinner.
That being said, let’s get back to this duck. I almost never cook duck as its somewhat pricey, and I just don’t crave it that often. For this meal, we blew the budget on the actual duck breast, so we couldn’t go accessory ingredient crazy. I went recipe hunting for what we could do to make this tasty using things we already had in the cupboard. These recipes require under 10 ingredients, most of which are pantry staples in our household.
Not to toot my own horn, but I am in awe that an ingredient list this remarkably tiny is responsible for the flavor wallop they deliver right to your mouth.
Honey Lacquered Duck
(Recipe adapted from: About.com. Yes, I know. About.com, really? Really.)
What you’ll need:
- Magret Duck Breast – 1 large breast
- Rosemary Infused Honey* – 3 tablespoons
- Balsamic Vinegar – 3 tablespoons
- Brown Sugar – 1 tablespoon
- Salt and Pepper – to taste
*Regular honey will do just fine. I infuse honey with different herbs and felt rosemary would work best here.
- Season both sides of the duck with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, over medium high heat, place the duck fat side down and let the fat render off the duck. Cook for 7-9 minutes and turn the heat down to medium-low. Turn the duck over and cook for another 7-9 minutes.
- Remove duck from the pan, place on a plate and tent with foil.
- Add the honey, balsamic vinegar and brown sugar to the pan. Allow to cook until a thick syrup starts to form.
- Return the duck to the pan and spoon the syrup over the duck and turn frequently while it cooks for another 5-7 minutes.
- Carve and serve immediately
Red Wine Risotto
(adapted from one of my previous recipes)
What you’ll need:
- Butter – 4 tbsp.
- Red Wine – 2 cups
- Chicken Broth – 2 cups
- Arborio (Risotto) Rice – 2 cups
- Parmesan Cheese – 1 cup
- Before you start cooking combine your red wine, parmesan cheese and chicken broth in a medium bowl
- In a medium pot, over low heat, melt 1 tbsp. butter and put the risotto in the pan and start stirring. After about 2 minutes (or until all of the butter is absorbed into the rice), add 1 cup of white wine mixture. Stir until all of the liquid is absorbed and then add another tbsp. of butter. Once the butter is absorbed, add another cup of cooking liquid. Continue doing this until risotto is fully cooked. If you run out of cooking liquid and the risotto is still crunchy, add 1 cup of hot water and keep stirring until risotto is fully cooked.