High fat and thick skin with incredible flavors – That one line can sum up duck meat. In many homes, duck breasts, in particular, is a staple of sorts for winters. Duck meat needs more time to cook than chicken, and regardless of the recipe, the standard process remains the same. There are plenty of duck breast recipes out there, but the basic ideas remain the same. In this post, we bring a few tips that will simplify your cooking process.
Prepare the meat right
Duck meat has thick skin, and the breasts also contain a considerable amount of fat. The first step is to add a few gashes on the meat. You can follow the crisscross style or parallel cuts as you prefer. The cuts should pierce through the skin and fats but not all the way in the flesh. Next, season the meat as you like. Just salt and pepper should suffice if you are just making pan-seared duck breasts. Don’t add a lot of strong flavors, because you don’t want the flavors of the meat to die down. Also, the meat should be marinated for at least an hour, and if you are keeping the meat in the fridge all through the night, make sure it has come down to room temperature before cooking.
Choose the pan and cooking fat right
With duck breasts, you have to always cook with the skin-side down. Keep in mind that the meat must be placed on a cold pan. Yes, that’s right. You want to render the fat as much as possible, for which starting with a cold skillet is an absolute must. Keep the flame to medium when you start and allow the duck skin to contract and cook to a crisp. Duck meat has a high amount of fat, so you don’t want to use a lot of cooking oil. Some butter or olive oil should suffice. Also, allow the skin side to cook for at least 15 minutes, but it also depends on the quality of the meat. Once you flip the side, cook again for about 10 minutes, and the meat should be done. Well-done duck breasts should have an internal temperature of about 125°F when cooked, so use a meat thermometer if required.
Finally, do collect the duck meat juices, which can be used for cooking other veggies or potatoes later. It’s all about slow cooking!