Friday, December 26, 2008


I never really ate duck breast before. Last year, D. made duck confit for my birthday, but I don't really remember what it tasted like and besides, it was just duck legs. This year, our friends suggested that we have duck for Christmas dinner at their country house in Pennsylvania. They said they would prepare duck breasts for the guests, there were to be about a dozen of us. D. volunteered to get the duck from the butcher he knows, so that meant that they couldn't start the duck until we got to the country house. We were lazy that morning, and didn't really get on the road until the afternoon. When we arrived at the house at dusk, I had to deal with getting the cat all set up, and D. brought in the cooler. He ended up preparing the duck himself, though our friend had made a currant sauce to go along with it. I wouldn't know how to do it if you left me alone with a duck breast, but from what I recall, D. cut checkers into the fat of the duck breast, though not so far in that the meat itself was punctured. He seasoned them with salt and pepper, and let them cook in olive oil on the stove in a cast iron pan until the skin was crispy and brown. 

Then he popped them in the oven and cooked until they were medium-rare. He sliced the breasts and arranged them a on plate in the center of the table, and everyone passed around sides of the currant sauce, string beans, parsnip puree, and brussel sprout gratin. It was a delicious meal. The duck breast slices were wonderful on french bread with mustard and cheese the next day.

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