Sliced duck breast with crispy skin served on a bed of black rice, garnished with orange zest on a turquoise plate.


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Okay, so I wanted to have a nice recipe ready to post for this week’s “Feed Me Fridays.” I had high hopes for this one considering I bought a beautiful duck breast from my local Greenmarket. I wanted to do an Asian spin on Duck a l’orange, so I worked out a nice marinade. Now all I had to do was cook it. Well—things didn’t go quite as expected.

I couldn’t remember the best technique so I scoured the “interweb” and came upon one that sounded sensible to me. It required scoring the fat, then searing both sides in a pan first and cooking the rest to temperature in the oven. 135 is supposedly medium rare, so I aimed for that.

I did everything as suggested, but after ten minutes in the oven as required, the internal temperature was nowhere near 135. So back inside the duck went. Eventually, doubling the time in the oven, the breast finally came to temperature.

I rested it and then began to slice it. My heart sank. I wasn’t slicing into a duck breast, I was slicing into a leather shoe. I had way overcooked it. Not only was the technique flawed, but I had made things worse by not believing the timing. It was an epic fail and I don’t think I deserve points for trying on this one. I attempted to make it look pretty on the plate, but as soon as we took a bite, there was a lot of heavy chewing going on.

The next day, I did a better job of scouring the internet and cross-referenced a few recipes for how to cook a duck breast. It seems there are a few varied options, none of which I actually accomplished. But I’ll give it a go again someday.

One note – the next day I sliced the leftover meat paper thin, put small pieces on crackers and topped them with some Brie. Into the microwave for 15 seconds and I had a very nice hors d’oeuvre. By slicing the meat so thin, I was able to distract people from having to chew so vigorously. As I always say, why waste?

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