I love duck. It satisfies all of my culinary urges, it’s meaty, rich & complex- everything one could wish for in a food. This combo is particularly decadent and is wonderful for a cold weather family dinner or dinner party sans the monkies. Is is also, incredibly simple.
White Beans with Smoked Duck
This is a simple riff on Cassoulet.
serves 6 generously
I package of smoked duck breast ( you only need one lobe)
1 bag dried Great Northern Beans
2 medium white onions
6 cloves garlic
several sprigs fresh thyme
8 cups chicken stock
Prepare the dried beans according to the package directions. I usually drop the ball on the overnight soak and almost always use the quick soak method. When the beans are ready drain and set aside.
Pre-heat the oven to 325.
Dice the onions and duck. Crush the cloves of garlic and remove the skins. Heat a large pan over medium high heat, add a tablespoon of oil, the onions , duck and garlic. Season with a teaspoon of salt and black pepper. Cook the onion, thyme, duck, garlic mixture until the onions have begun to soften and the duck has rendered out some of the fat. Add the white beans and stock. Give everything a good stir and allow it to come to a fast simmer. Cover and place in the oven for 2 1/2 hours. Check periodically to make sure that the beans are not dry out and add stock as needed to keep them moist. When the beans are cooked all the way through remove the top and cook for another 30 mins. The beauty of this recipe is that you can make it ahead and let it hang out on the stove until your ready for dinner or even in the fridge overnight.
Roasted Duck Breast with Caraway
Serves 6 Generously
2 Full Duck Breasts
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
1 tables spoon salt
1 tables black pepper
Let Duck Breast come to room temperature- like red meat you will get a more even cooking. Pre-heat your oven to 450.
In either a spice grinder or mortar and pestle grind the caraway seeds, salt and pepper together.
Dry the breasts well with a paper towel and place meat side down on a cutting board. With a sharp knife cut lines across the fat- the key here is not to go all the way down to the meat- rotate the meat 45 angles and cut lines so that you create a cross hatch pattern – this will allow a lot of the fat to render out and give you that super yummy crispy duck skin. Rub the salt mixture onto both sides of the breast.
Place a large pan over high heat and allow to heat for about 30 secs. Add the Duck Breasts Skin side down and allow to cook for 7-10 mins. Flip the Breasts over- pour off the excess fat ( SAVE THIS !!! It is magical and be re-used in lieu of butter etc – think potatoes roasted with duck fat) and place the Duck in the oven for 15 mins. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 mins. Slice thinly and serve with the White Beans and greens of some sort.