Yes, I am going to go full throttle on the whole bird. Breasts to legs to soup or stock. You will have to wait for the soup or stock posting until the weather is cooler and less humid here — I do NOT boil water more than five minutes when it is like this outside. (I do not have central air.)
By the way, this duck came from MarWin Farms, based out of New Hartford, Connecticut. They sell at select farmer’s markets around here, the closest to me being in Litchfield. If you check their website, they also sell what is termed in the food marketing field, “value-added products” — duck salami, pre-seasoned duck or chicken creations ready for the grill or oven, and things like that. I do prefer to do my own cooking, but I may well try their quail-apeno (quail with jalapeno) down the road.
Anyhow, as for the other breast: Duck Breast, Onion and Bell Pepper Salad
1 duck breast, skin on.
Dry sherry. You can use cooking sherry, but since duck is a special treat, I went for Savory & James Delux Dry Sherry FINO.
1/4 teaspoon ground oregano (or so)
1/4 teaspoon ground savory (or so)
Trader Joe’s Rainbow Peppercorns (or other pepper source), to taste
Celtic Sea Salt, to taste
1 small onion (white or yellow) sliced thin and then coarsely chopped to bite size.
1 teaspoon, approximately, of ghee (or butter)
1/2 bell pepper, chopped into bite sized pieces
Marinate overnight, using enough sherry to barely cover (small container!), and the oregano, savory, pepper and salt.
In skillet, place the ghee (clarified butter), and heat to medium high, then add the onion. Add a little pepper and just a pinch of salt. Move it around a lot. The onion at the very least should be translucent. A light browning is desirable. Remove onion when ready and reserve.
Take the duck breast from the marinate (discard excess), and score the skin with a sharp knife, or puncture it with a fork. This will release fats. I chose to score it this meal. Take that skillet, wipe it clean, and place the duck skin down on the surface of the skillet. (I added extra oregano and savory for photography purposes. Hey, it’s all good anyway.) The duck fat will be good enough to provide cooking fat for this breast.
Place duck breast into hot skillet and cook 5-6 minutes with the skin side towards the skillet. (Same regimen as previous post.) Flip, and about five minutes with heat reduced to medium, and then flip back again for about 5 minutes. As before, you want the skin crispy, and the interior (of a non-supermarket bird) to be mildly pinkish.
Remove, and let rest five minutes.
Note to self: Scoring the skin provided a lot more excess fat than simply puncturing with fork tines, as with my previous duck recipe. Will always score in the future. Since this is a healthy bird (pesticides accumulate in fat) I will save and reserve this for some future foodie endeavor.
Slice duck into bite-size bits, mix with the bell pepper and the onion. Lay down lettuce for your salad base, and then layer this food item over the top of the lettuce (once it is mostly chill). You can refrigerate and serve as a salad. (You can adapt the above and serve as a hot dish too, of course. I just want to make this post go in a different direction than yesterday’s, and it IS still rather hot outside.)
Regards the bell pepper: I really like mine au dente and crunchy. If you’d rather not, add it in with the onion in the skillet during some part of that item’s cooking time.
What I’d do different next time: I’d score the skin prior to marinating.
PS: new site header as of yesterday. That’s kale, folks, from my garden. Looks a bit more professional. I almost hate to pick that sprig.