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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug. 30, 2011
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    1,337

    Default Cooking duck breasts with out screwing up the skin???

    Ok, how do I do this? LOL I probably should have posted BEFORE I made the breasts...

    So I have cooked a whole duck in the oven many times, today was my first attempt at making breasts. It wasn't a total fail, the meat came out good, but the skin wasn't right.

    I cooked two breasts in a pan on the stove top (gas) on medium heat. I did the skin side first. The skin got crunchy but the fat underneath stayed kinda white and firm, never got gelatinous. Not sure if I'm explaining this well.

    I ended up just cutting off the skin and serving the breasts. What should I do to make this work better next time?


    1 members found this post helpful.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 6, 2002
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    16,477

    Default

    I don't cook duck much personally, but when I am cooking white-meat-only poultry with skin and bone (i.e. turkey breast) I cook it most of the way in a completely sealed foil pouch (seasoning rubbed under the skin), then drain, baste w/butter (probably not necessary for fatty duck) and then cook the last 10 mins under the broiler out of the pouch to crisp up the skin.
    ~Veronica
    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
    http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov. 18, 2010
    Location
    california
    Posts
    4,652

    Default

    Duck has a ton of fat under the skin. You have to really cook the skin side to render out the fat. It is not the same as chicken.

    I have not prepared them-I love ducks, but from everything I have read that is the trick.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 30, 2011
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    1,337

    Default

    Hm. Good point. So maybe next time I should cook skin side down longer?

    I did skin side for 15 minutes. I was worried about over cooking the meat, but in retrospect, the fat was so thick i probably could have done longer and not ruined the breast. Sigh, cooking. Its always an adventure isn't it?



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec. 7, 2006
    Location
    Spruce Grove AB
    Posts
    825

    Default

    You were correct to cook skin side down. Did you score the skin in a cross hatch fashion? The scoring will allow the heat to penetrate the thick fatty layer. Duck breast can be served at a medium doneness. Some pink is desirable,(if you are ok with that). And as an above poster mentioned, you can broil the breast side up skin, for a few minutes.

    I just love duck and goose and am jealous of your meal! Lol


    1 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 15, 2003
    Posts
    2,653

    Default

    I salt and score the skin, then cook skin-side-down on medium-ish heat until the fat is mostly rendered, the meat is browning up about halfway up the sides and the skin is yummy and crispy. I'll then flip them over for a quick cook on the meat side and done. You can debone the meat on the leg/thigh and treat the cuts the same as the breast, too - I kind of deglove the thighs/legs, encourage the meat off the bone and whack the leg bone with the back of my knife to break it so I can withdraw the thigh/leg bone combination. Never fails to make my kids happy to see duck on the table.
    Don't tell me about what you can't do. That's boring. Show me what you can do. - Mom


    2 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May. 16, 2000
    Posts
    1,397

    Default

    Yes, score duck breasts, as Miss J suggested. Then steam to cook. Then skin-side down in a cast-iron dutch oven heated to 475.

    Here's a great recipe and technique: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/a...ipe/index.html

    It is delicious!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug. 30, 2011
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,337

    Default

    Thanks guys!

    I did score the fat, I think I just needed to cook skin side down longer.

    Emryss- good tip about meat starting to brown up the sides. Always good to have a visual rule of thumb for when to flipover!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 1, 2012
    Posts
    132

    Default

    #1 rule of cooking duck breast....start with a COLD pan!!! I'm serious. Learned this from when I staged in a James Beard award winning kitchen.


    ETA: Score fat side, no olive oil needed, season both sides. Once 60-75% cooking on skin side, flip. Really only needs a few minutes to be medium rare, and of course, always let rest before cutting!

    ETAA: Make sure there's never more than 1/4 of an inch of fat in the pan. Spoon it out, strain it, and save it for another use.
    Last edited by GreySwan; Nov. 26, 2012 at 10:00 AM.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2006
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    11,372

    Default

    Okay, now you all have me craving duck.



    I have never tried cooking it on the stove top, have always roasted a whole duck in the oven. Good to learn about another method!
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...



  11. #11
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2003
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    14,841

    Default

    Score the fat and pat skin dry, season both sides - I'll remember the tip about the cold pan, which starts the fat rendering. MMMM - will shop some breasts this week!
    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique



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