The holidays officially ended just this Tuesday, the eighth of January. I never understood why there were two more Turkeys served that day when kitchen operations should have been back to normal. It was already a week after New Year’s Day? This raised a big question mark on my part on how much Turkey and gravy these people can take. It was unmistakably unbelievable! I couldn’t handle that much sauce and was sick of gravy by the second week of December. I was already hitting the oriental trail of noodles and vegetables as soon as the New Year’s stepped in. I thought it was finally over and done with; really over and done with until the next holiday. It caught me by surprise.
This intense jostling and wrestling with the Turkey for almost a month took me to the grocery for some whole young, Duck. It’s really not at all that expensive. I know many, including a couple of my friends, can’t take Duck as much as I can’t Turkey nowadays, but Duck is as versatile as any other bird. I haven’t really tackled cooking and working on a Duck Leg or a Duck Breast, but whichever part they are served, I enjoy the rich and gamy feature and quality of the bird. I can’t resist having a Hong Kong style Roast Duck on noodles or rice after work, and if I were with my nephews, a Peking Duck is always worth having. The last time I had a Peking Duck was close to a decade ago. I haven’t had anyone to share it with me here in Toronto. Filipinos seem to curse the bird, one way or the other.
I know for some reason I can’t cook either one of those two Chinese Roast. I don’t have the tools, the experience and moreover, the required skill to work on them with precise and pinpoint crispy skin accuracy. They have their ways which I believe can be totally intriguing and fascinating to see and learn. I’ll take theirs anytime, hands down, however, the French has some extremely delicious classical dishes, too that is paired with wine. This is more of my avenue. I have been looking at some French Duck dishes and encountered this one: a Magret. I missed this in Paris when I was there last fall (sign that I should return), but was able to taste a classical Duck Confit. I will tackle both dishes; the Magret de Canard being a precursor to the confit. I have two whole ducks in my fridge. The hunting season has just began.
- Two Duck Breast, skin scored
- Red Wine (Merlot)
- Bay leaf
- Cherry Jam
- Light Soy Sauce
- Lemon Juice
- Cornstarch slurry
- Fingerling Potatoes, boiled
Reduce about a half bottle of wine in sauce pan together with the Thyme and Bay leaf. Once reduced to half, strain in another sauce pan. Thicken with a cornstarch solution to achieve desired consistency, add-in the light soy sauce, honey and the Cherry jam. Finish off with butter and lemon juice.
Pan-fry the Duck breast, skin side down, for about five to eight minutes, depending on the size of the breast. Flip the breast and insert in a pre-heated 180’C oven for another four minutes. Check the breast for doneness. Set aside to rest and slice on a bias.
Saute the potatoes using the oil that was rendered from the duck on the same pan. &nb
Slice in a bias and set on a plate with the Fingerling potatoes and the sauce at the centre of the plate.
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