Duck breast is incredibly easy to make at home! The meat is perfectly medium rare, the skin is nice and crispy. Duck is rich, so I’ve paired it here with a persimmon panzanella salad. While duck is easy, it does require some technique to properly render the skin fat. Click the instagram icon below for a video walk through!
- 2 duck breasts
For the dressing
- 1/2 shallot, finely minced
- Lots of salt
- 1 tbs warm water
- 1 tbs sherry vinegar
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- ¼ cup olive oil oil
- 1/2 tsp fresh thyme
For the salad
- 6 oz rustic loaf bread, cut into 1 inch chunks
- 2 tbs olive oil (if you are not using your rendered duck fat for anything else, you can use that instead here).
- ½ persimmon, sliced thinly.
- ⅓-½ head butter lettuce, loosely chopped
- ½ cup radicchio, loosely chopped.
- ¼ cup red onion, thinly sliced.
- 1 handful mint leaves.
- Lots of salt and black pepper
For the duck
- At least 24 hours prior to cooking your duck, pat dry, generously salt both sides, and put on a rack over a baking sheet in the fridge, skin side up, uncovered.
- The next day, remove your duck from the fridge and quickly cut a crosshatch pattern into the skin. These should be shallow cuts, you do not want to expose the duck.
- Place your cold duck, skin side down, in a carbon steel or stainless steel pan and turn your burner to low (do not oil or preheat the pan).
- Place a pot on top of the duck to help them lay flat.
- Let the ducks gently render out fat until the skin is much thinner, browned, and the ducks are swimming in a pool of their own fat. This should take about 10 minutes. Do NOT flip the ducks, you are looking to render the fat only, and keep the duck entirely raw.
- Take out, let cool, and set aside. If you will be cooking the ducks in more than an hour, put on a plate in the fridge loosely covered with seran wrap.
*You can complete this whole process up to 24 hours before you want to eat the duck.
- 15 minutes before you are ready to eat, turn your oven broiler on.
- Once hot, place your ducks, skin side up, on an oven safe pan and broil for 4-10 minutes, until the duck reaches an internal temp of 130. You can overcook this very quickly, so check at the 4 minute mark and adjust for there.
- Let rest for 2-3 minutes, this should bring the temp up to 135, which will be the perfect medium rare. I do not recommend cooking duck to anything above medium.
For the duck
- Add shallot, salt, warm water, and vinegar to a small bowl and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Add the honey, lemon juice, mustard, thyme, oil, black pepper, and whisk.
- Taste for seasoning. Adjust as needed.
For the salad
- Preheat your oven to 350
- In a large bowl, coat your bread in oil, salt, and pepper
- Bake the bread on a large sheet pan for 10-15 minutes. They should be toasty but not as crunchy as a crouton.
- Wash your lettuce and radicchio and dry.
- Add your onions to a large bowl and salt generously (this will hold your salad).
- Add your persimmons to the onion bowl.
- Add your bread to the bowl and pour enough dressing over to coat. Let sit for 4 minutes.
- Add your lettuce, radicchio, and mint and toss. If needed, add more dressing.