Duck. Mention that you’re having, serving or cooking duck and everyone thinks fancy, special occasion and difficult to prepare. And they’d be right. Well at least they’d be right on two out of three. Duck is fancy, great for a special occasion, but it doesn’t have to be hard to prepare.
I’ve got three duck recipes that are simple, savory and delicious. We start by breaking down a whole KOL Foods duck, quarter it and debone the breasts. The duck from KOL Foods is phenomenal. Free range, no antibiotics, no growth hormones and a completely natural feed. No gaminess and the meat is sweet and tender.
Next I rendered down the fat for later use, simply by sautéing it in a pan over medium low heat. We’ll use it for the duck breast it came from, but you can also use it for extra flavoring on other dishes, most notably duck fat fried French fries.
Approx 1 lb. Dried or fresh figs
Pinch of cardamom
Water to barely cover
Pure Maple Syrup to taste
Cut the figs in half and check for any insect infestation.
Once checked, dice the figs and combine with all the other ingredients EXCEPT the pure maple syrup, in a small pot.
Simmer over low heat until the figs have broken done. Once the figs are soft, put them in a blender or use your immersion blender and puree. Add the maple syrup to adjust for sweetness.
SMOKED DUCK LEGS WITH FIG CONFIT
2 KOL Foods Duck Legs
Hickory and/or Apple wood chunks or chips.
BBQ. Grill or Smoker
set your grill up for smoking. Whether you use a gas grill or wood-burning grill is up to you. But in either case you want to get you wood chunks or chips smoldering so that they smoke and not burn. You can soak them for at least a half hour ahead of time in water.
Once your wood is smoking, gently season the legs with the kosher salt and the granulated garlic. Then place on the grill using INDIRECT heat. Make sure you put the fat/skin side up. Close the lid and walk away for an hour to an hour and a half.
Resist the temptation to keep checking on the legs. Every time you open the lid, you let air in that can cause the wood to burn and not smolder. It’s important to let the smoke do its job; this is where so much of the flavor will be coming from.
After about an hour, take a small amount of the fig confit and dapple some on top of the legs. Let it caramelize on top for about five minutes and then viola . . . Enjoy.
HERB SEARED BREAST OF DUCK
1 KOL Foods Duck Breast, skin and fat removed.
Rendered Duck Fat
Pure Maple Syrup
Gently season the legs with the kosher salt and the granulated garlic. Add a small touch of cardamom and the freshly ground ginger. Then add the thyme.
Put the duck fat in a sauté pan and heat on medium high heat. You want to sear the breast, not cook it fully. Add the cloves to the duck fat and then sear both sides of the breast. Next put in a 400-degree oven for about 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven, drizzle with some pure maple syrup and let the breast rest for 5 minutes, then slice against the grain, glaze the top with your pan drippings.
OVEN SMOKED SAVORY BREAST OF DUCK
1 KOL Foods Duck Breast, fat and skin on.
Liquid Smoke or a "Smoking Gun” (refer to the video)
Touch of thyme
Bit of Tishbi Chenen Blanc Wine
Put some small cuts into the skin of the duck breast. You don’t want to cut through the fat, just score the skin a bit. Gently season the breast with the kosher salt and granulated garlic. If you have a "smoking gun” put the breast in a re-sealable bag and cold smoke for at least a half an hour. If you don’t have the smoking gun, put some liquid smoke on the breast and let it absorb in for at least a half an hour.
Once the breast has had the smoke treatment, coat the bottom of a sauté pan with olive oil. Add the breast, skin side up. Put the fresh thyme on top of the breast and add the cloves to the oil. Put into a 400 degree oven for about 10 – 15 minutes.
Take the breast out of the oven and drain the fat from the pan. You can reserve it for frying some French fries at a later time. Add about a half-cup of the wine to the bottom of the pan and lightly coat the skin with some of the fig confit. Put under the broiler to crisp up the skin. Slice against the grain and serve with some of the fig confit on the side if you wish.
ON THE SIDE
Serve with haricot verts, which is a very fancy and French way of saying green beans. Just blanche them in heavily salted water about 3-4 minutes. Take them out of the water, add a touch of salt if need be and put some of my bourbon infused maple pecans on top. But that’s another recipe.
I pair all of these with either the Cabernet Syrah or, if you prefer a lighter white wine, a Chenen Blanc. They both work nicely with the duck and add that little something extra.
Trust me you want to try all of these recipes, not just for a special occasion or a holiday, but also throughout the year. So get going and make every day a special occasion.