There is something about the coming solstice that makes me want to cook exotic meats each year at this time. It must be some sort of hard genetic coding that is programmed to prepare for the coming winter. This week, I decided to order duck breasts from the Crescent Duck Farm out on Long Island.
So, here is the recipe:
1) Preheat the oven to 425 Fahrenheit or 218 C
2) Take two duck breasts and trim any of the gristle or tougher strips from the undersides (this keeps the breast from curling during cooking)
3) Score the fatty side with a sharp knife and season with sea salt. Rub garlic paste into the scoring
4) Heat canola oil in a pan that you can later put in the oven. When the oil is hot, carefully slide the breasts into the oil, laying them down away from you so that the oil does not splash up on to your hands.
5) After the breasts have fried for about two minutes lay fresh rosemary across the top of the breasts
6) Lift the breasts to check that the fatty side is nicely seared and browned
7) Place the pan into the hot oven for about 15 minutes
8) When you think that the breast is done, pull one out and give it a poke. It should be soft, not hard and not squishy. You want the meat juicy but cooked.
9) Here are my two duck breasts today. Looking pretty tasty.
10) Turn the breast over and slice from the non-fatty side. You want to do this fast so that the crispy scored side does not get soggy in the juices
11) Finally, you slice up all the pieces and serve