I picked up a whole duck at a recent Farmer’s Market, and over a few posts I plan to relate how I cooked it, leaving no parts behind (except of course those few parts they didn’t provide with the bird proper. They also included the heart and the liver (not foie gras, mind you).
Okay, first meal: Duck breast with kohlrabi and garden pickings.
1 duck breast (per person)
1 smallish kohlrabi (a turnip would also work)
a small handful of snap peas (that’s what was large enough so far in my garden)
2 spring onions, diced
fresh sage leaves
ground pepper (I used the Trader Joe’s Rainbow Peppercorns
pink Himalayan sea salt (if you have it)
Balsamic vinegar, about 2-3 tablespoons
Remove one breast from the duck if you haven’t gotten your duck in pieces to begin with.
Poke holes into the skin side, to allow fats to escape while cooking. Place skin side down in skillet.
Add the balsamic over the top of the duck, flesh side up, and add the pepper and salt.
Marinate briefly while you prep your kohlrabi and gather your other veggies.
Kohlrabi: fascinating plant! It looks like some sort of space age alien, a benign visitor from another world. They come either purple or green, but it is a shame that once they are peeled that the purple is just skin deep. They’re close to white inside. It turns out this bulbous part is really stem. They’re related to broccoli like so many other members of the vegetable kingdom. Anyhow, cut off the leaves and stems (I used them earlier in a different meal), and with a knife and/or potato peeler, remove and discard the peel. Yeah, I know, a shame. That purple…
Make 1/4 – 1/2 inch slices of kohlrabi and add to skillet.
Turn the heat to medium high to brown the duck skin, and cook both the duck and the kohlrabi. After five-six minutes, reduce heat to medium. Periodically flip the kohlrabi during this time.
Flip the duck, and season the other side with a little more salt and pepper. Add the snap peas, unshelled, but if they are big cut them in half. Add the bulb part of the spring onions. Cook for another 5 minutes, mixing the veggies often, and then flip the duck back on its skin side, to cook for a further 4 or 5 minutes. Pierce the breast to check for done-ness. If the bird came from a reliable source, it is fine to serve the breast pinkish. At the very end, add the sage and the green parts of the onion, and cook for another minute. (Some of the onion can be reserved as garnish, as I did.)
Plate and let rest five minutes, carve, and eat. The kohlrabi, by the way, should carmelize a little.
I wonder if the observant notice I’ve picked up a new serving dish. Something with less distractions/patterns on the china. Attempting to get my food photography ratcheted up a notch.