I only like the right kind of breast

Don't get the wrong idea. I meant a piece of nice duck breast, cooked to medium rare for that juicy gamy taste. When I used to buy duck breasts in Boston, I went to Super 88 for frozen, vacuum packed breasts imported from France. Each pack has a pair of breasts from one duck, measuring about 6"x8", and about 1/2" thick. These days I can buy spend almost the same amount of money to buy a whole fresh duck from the NYC Chinatown!

But when Mike and I made our duck dish, we were too lazy to go all the way to Chinatown and to do the boning for the duck. We went to a decent grocery market and bought two pieces of vacuum packed duck breasts. These were individually packed, and each pack has only one breast. Each one is much bigger though, almost the size of a very large chicken breast. They were much thicker too, almost an inch thick!

We sauted the breasts skin side down to render the fat, and cooked them on both sides. We also made Mike's favorite "duck sauce" to go with them. For veggies, I simply cooked onions and cherry tomatoes until they become saucy, and added cauliflower florets until cooked through. Everything in this dinner was wonderful, except for the duck breasts! At the medium-rare stage, they were still rather tough and chewy. After some research, we found that these days American duck breasts are commonly available, and they are typically taken from ducks used to produce foie gras. These breasts are simply much bigger and tougher then the ones from roasting ducks. So, next time we will drag our lazy bums down to Chinatown to buy cheap ducks and cut out the breasts ourselves.

Recipe: Mike's Duck Sauce

1 12oz jar Damson Plum Preserves
1/2 cup Amaretto (di Saronno)
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp grated orange peel
2 Tbsp orange juice
pinch ground cloves

Whisk all ingredients in a sauce pan and simmer over low heat until slightly thickened, and serve!


virginia said…
Love the title! I'm thinking about doing something with duck, but it's one of those things I’m afraid to spend way too much money and not getting the right result. It looks delicious though.
Albertitto said…
Hmm I don't know where you live, but ducks are sooooo cheap in New York Chinatown. If I buy a regular Marray's chicken (~4 lb) in the supermarket, it usually is $8-10. one duck in Chinatown is the same price!

And also, certain things in cooking just require experimentation and practices. Sure the ingredients cost some money, but they will always be cheaper than going out to eat. And consider it to be a cooking school tuition. It's an investment for future good eats :)
virginia said…
Well, actually I only lived in 2 different states here, Utah (yeah I know, don't say anything) and right now in Florida; which I find a better variety food wise, but still I don't seem to find a place where duck is an everyday thing, if you know what I mean. I might start my search for one tonight.

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