The following recipe and photography is courtesy of Graham R. and his dog, Carl. For more of their delicious food ventures, visit them on Instagram @cookingwithcarrrl.
I consider myself one lucky duck to be able to share some of my favorite recipes with all of you, and this new creation is something very special that you can nail, even if you’re a quack in the kitchen! If my puns haven’t tipped you off by now, this recipe is all about preparing the best duck breast!
Duck is a truly underrated protein, and the fact that it’s hard to find in most stores doesn’t help. Luckily if you’re reading this, you most likely have a Heinen’s in your life, and they have duck! In true Heinen’s fashion, they don’t have just any duck, they have D’Artagnan moulard duck breast. Oh boy, are these a treat! Each duck breast comes with a beautiful fat cap, which I consider to be the icing on the on the cake. When rendered down, this fat becomes a more flavorful alternative to oil or butter and can enhance the flavor of virtually any dish.
Duck and citrus flavors work wonders together. Blood orange, raspberry and cherry are some of the most popular pairings, but I always like to pair duck with whatever is in season. As always, Heinen’s Produce Department did not disappoint and came through with fresh persimmons!
Hachiya persimmons are in season from October through January and have a sweet honey flavor. The flesh, when ripe, is almost like jelly and taste like a honey-flavored mango. They are a fruit in their own league and I encourage you to give them a try!
Let’s get quacking!
- Prep time:
- Total time:
For the Duck
- 2 1 lb. duck breasts
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 1 sprig of thyme
For the Persimmon Grapefruit Purée
- 1 ripe persimmon, diced
- 1/2 cup grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. minced shallot
- ½ garlic clove
- 1 tsp. fresh thyme
- 2 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
- Freshly cracked pepper, to taste
- Remove the duck breast from the refrigerator a half hour before cooking. Pat it dry with paper towels.
- Flip the duck so the fat side is facing up. Score the fat cap every half-to-quarter-inch using a sharp knife. Rotate the duck breast and score the fat again to create square/diamond marks in the fat. Do not cut all the way through the fat into the meat. Scoring the fat helps it render, allows the juices to seep into the meat and prevents the edges of the duck breast from curling.
- Season the duck with salt and pepper. Place the duck breast fat-side-down into a cold nonstick skillet, preferably cast iron. Place the skillet onto a burner over medium-low heat. After 5 minutes, the fat will start to render and the duck will begin to sizzle. Allow the duck to cook for an additional 15 minutes.
- While the duck cooks, place all of the persimmon grapefruit purée ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. You can also use an immersion blender.
- Add the mixture to a pan over medium heat and cook until the purée has reduced by about 1/3. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
- After 15 minutes, check the internal temperature of the duck. It should be around 110˚F-120˚F.
- Raise the temperature to medium and flip the duck. Add the thyme to the pan and baste the duck breast with the fat. Do this until an internal temperate of 130 ˚F -135 ˚F, or medium-rare, is reached.
- Remove the duck from the pan and cover loosely with foil. Allow it to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
- Remove the fat from the pan and save it for later! This is liquid gold! I love saving mine for potatoes or seared steaks. You can also make a simple pan sauce to save all those crispy bits of goodness leftover from the duck. To make this, reduce 1/2 cup of white wine to a Tbsp., then add 1 cup of chicken broth. Reduce to half and add 2 Tbsp. of butter. Done!