Sophisticated Savories

Sophisticated Savories

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Lean meat.

Well... duck doesn't really come to mind... considering that it is a "fatty protein."

Be that as it may... just because a food has natural fat in its composition (I'm not talking about added fried fat or heavy creams/salad dressings), does not mean that it is necessarily "bad for you." Simply, remember portion control.

As I mentioned earlier, I stopped by Sprouts today in order to purchase a plethora of fresh produce. I'm surprised that my shopping cart did not automatically create a "pot 'o gold," as a rainbow of colors was cascading from the fresh produce.


As I was perusing the meats, I found duck breast... which I have not consumed in quite some time. I figured - why not? It's been awhile. Now here is where the plate composition comes into play. Just because I prepare duck, doesn't necessarily mean that I have to pair it with a heavy potato, starch or cream sauce. Rather, I chose fresh figs and arugula. Simply prepared, yet perfectly executed:

When cooking duck breast, no additional oil is needed to begin the cooking process. Why? When cooking, do not remove the duck skin on the breast. To begin, heat a sauté pan to high heat. Season the duck on both sides with smoked sea salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Once the sauté pan is hot, place the duck breast, skin-side down, on the pan. Do not touch the duck breast at this point... allow it to sauté for about 5 minutes. As it is cooking, you will see the breast begin to render its own fat - meaning that it is releasing its own fat and liquids onto the pan. After about 5 minutes, begin to "baste" the breast... with a spoon, gently ladle the rendered fat onto the top of the breast. After another 2 minutes, flip the duck breast over and continue to ladle the rendered fat - this time, on the skin. The skin should be nice and crisp from the initial sear. After 2 minutes of basting the second side, check the temperature of the duck. 125 is rare, and 130 rides the border between rare and medium-rare. If wanting to serve rare, remove the duck at 122-123 degrees and loosely wrap in aluminum foil, in a warm part of the kitchen. This will allow the "carry-over" cooking to reach 125 by the time it is ready to be served. If 130 is the desired temperature to consume, then remove at 127-128 degrees.

As far as flavor enhancements? While the duck is resting (after been cooked, but waiting for the proteins to absorb the internal juices), simply toss the fresh figs in the rendered duck fat. Season with a sprinkle of smoked sea salt and cayenne pepper. Allow to cook until tender- almost falling apart.

For the greens, toss the arugula in a combination of lemon juice, olive oil and light dusting of Himalayan sea salt. This will help to brighten the dish, as well as provide a "nutty" bite."

To serve, thinly slice the duck breast and "fan out" on the bed of arugula. Top with the freshly cooked figs.

"Everything in moderation…including moderation." - Julia Child

Love y'all dearly!

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