This exceptional meal deservesa specialoccasion.
Simple to make and relativelyeasyto shopfor,it’s
a high-end dish that givesthewelcomeimpression
of a lotmoreworkthanit actuallyrequires.
properly;it is darkerandmore
With the point of a very
sharp knife, score the fat
side of the breasts in a criss-cross
pattern without cutting into the
flesh. Salt both sides, then place
the breasts skin-side down in
a heavy-based frying pan over
medium-low heat. Sweat them
under careful surveillance for 12
minutes or so, by which time the
skin will be dark-brown and most
of the fat rendered. Flip them,
rev up the heat to medium-high,
and cook for seven minutes to producethedesirablemedium-rare
outcome. Remove them and keep uncoveredinanovenat 90 ºC.
Meanwhile, back at the hob, pouroffthefatandreserveit for
another day and another meal.Measure45mloftheduckfat
and return this to the frying pan atmediumheat.Addthethinly
sliced and chopped onion plus themincedgarlictotheduckfat
and let these cook for five minutesorso,stirringfromtimeto
time to avoid adhesion, by which timetheonionsshouldbesoft
and translucent. Sprinkle in two tablespoonsoffreshlychopped
thyme, a quarter teaspoon of freshlygroundblackpepper,half
a teaspoon of salt, the wine, the vinegarandthehoney.
Lower the heat to medium-lowand,whilestirring,letthe
sauce thicken until almost evaporated.
Retrieve the duck breasts fromtheovenandarrangethemon
a surface that can collect the juices.Carveintoslices10mm
thick. Pour the post-carving juicesbackintothefryingpanat
medium-low heat and reduce whilestirring,untilthesauceis well
thickened. Fine-tune the flavour withsmalladditionsofredwine
vinegar or honey to achieve the sweet-sourbalanceyouprefer.
Dish up immediately on warmedplateswiththe
duck slices adjacent to a servingofthefryingpan
contents and, as an optional extra,buttery,mashedsweet
potatoes. Garnish with rinsed thymeleaves.
- David Basckin is a freelance journalistandvideographer.Emailhim
at email@example.com. Subjectline:Realcooking.▪FW
23 AUGUST 2019 farmer’sweekly 49
To make these duck
breasts for four diners,
you will need:
1kg duck breasts
200g chopped onions
4 cloves of garlic
1 bunch of fresh thyme
Salt and coarsely ground
90ml dry red wine
45ml red wine vinegar
500g sweet potato mash