This week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe represents a first for me: cooking with duck. In fact, I suspect it is a first for many of my fellow Doristas.
It’s funny how the mind can play tricks on you. When I read the label on the duck breasts I purchased, I thought it said, “Peking Duck Breasts”. It seemed a little strange that someone would assume I’d be making Peking Duck. Then I read Dorie’s “basics” on duck and found that “Pekin” ducks are a common type of duck available in the U.S. I checked my label again and sure enough it said, “Pekin Duck Breasts”. I learned something new!
Back to the cooking of the duck. Twenty-Minute Honey-Glazed Duck Breasts is an excellent introduction to cooking with duck. Breasts are a lot less scary than a whole duck, and the recipe takes you through all the necessary steps for successfully cooking with duck: scoring the skin and fat, letting the duck “rest” in the oven for a few minutes, and mentioning that duck is best when it is still a bit rare. Also, duck breasts are best served sliced on the diagonal; it helps tenderize them.
Cooking went smoothly for me. Although I do feel the timing in the recipe is more appropriate for larger duck breasts. I had small duck breasts and found the cooking times to be a little long. In fact, I overcooked them slightly.
I enjoyed cooking and eating the duck. The balsamic-honey-lime sauce was really nice with the meatiness of the duck. I served these on a bed of mixed greens with roasted potatoes on the side. I was surprised that the duck was more like meat than chicken. I doubt I will cook with duck very often, but this was a fun recipe to try!
See how the other FFwD participants fared cooking duck here: Honey-Glazed Duck Breasts.