One of the most tasty meats, and one of the most overlooked, is duck. A perfectly seared duck breast can give an amazing array of textures and flavours, but many people avoid it because they worry about overcooking, undercooking or generally messing it up.
Worry no more, as these instructions will hopefully give you the courage to add another wonderful dish to your repertoire – the pan seared duck breast (with an orange and balsamic reduction).
To make the sauce for the duck breast, all you need is a little time and a pan. Stick equal parts of balsamic vinegar and orange juice into a pan and heat…done!
One of my all-time favourite dishes, and it's one of the easiest to make.
- Duck breast - 500g
- Orange juice - 100ml (fresh orange juice)
- Balsamic vinegar - 100ml
- Sea salt - 1 tbsp
- For your reduction, all you need to do is add equal parts orange juice and balsamic vinegar to a pan and cook it. It's that simple. Stir from time to time and it will reduce down and eventually become thicker and stickier. You can leave it reducing as you prepare and cook the meat
- To prepare the meat, lay it out on the chopping board and cut off all the little bits of white fat from the underside to clean it up
- Score lines in the fat roughly 10mm apart, creating a checkerboard effect. Don't cut all the way through the fat, but make a decent cut depth cut...this will lead to the fat becoming crispy after cooking (just the way you like it!)
- Grab your sea salt and rub a little into both sides of the duck breast and let it stand for a few minutes (or up to an hour, if you have other dishes to prepare)
- Heat up your pan (70-80% heat). Do not add any oil (the fat from the breast will be more than enough to cook it)
- Add the duck breast fat-faced-down and sear for three minutes
- Turn the breast over and cook the underside for a further three minutes
- Depending on the thickness of your breast, and cooking preference, you may want to turn and cook for a further two minutes on each side
- Remove from the pan and put onto a chopping board. Let the meat breathe for two minutes before preparing for the plate
- Cut into thin slices (15mm thick) or into three chunks (that's a restaurant favourite) depending on your preference
- Serve with fresh vegetables and add your balsamic orange reduction (or put the sauce into a small jug so your guests can decide how much they have)