Duck breast - or Magret de Canard - a staple on every bistro menu in Paris.
For good reason too. It's meaty, pink and absoloutly delicious.
What's not to like about that.
Better still, cooked properly it's low in fat.
The secret is to sear it first in a pan then finish it in the oven.
Here's how it's done
Score just the skin not the meat in a criss cross pattern
Heat your oven to 180C/160 fan or gas 4
When the breast gets to room temperature pop it in a cold frying pan
Slowly heat the pan to melt the fat. Take care not to burn it.
When the skin's crisped up take from the pan and put it in the oven
5-6 mins for a rosy pink
7-8 mins medium
10-12 mins well done
Rest it for 10 minutes before slicing
You're in for a treat!
Keep the fat. It makes for great roast potatoes.
Each breast sealed in a vacuum pack.
Open the pack and freeze any legs that you're not going to eat within three days
Take care not to puncture the vacuum pack.
Store it below 4°C and never let it get above 7°C.
Be gentle with it, if you bang it or drop it the meat will lose some of it's moisture. Don't stack heavy things on top of it either.
7 days. 3 days if pack opened.
With fridge set at 1-4 °C
Raw duck is susceptible to bacterial infection, but any bacteria is killed during the cooking process. Keep in mind you don't get the same level of protection if you serve it rare/pink.
Never wash raw duck as any splashes simply spread the bacteria. Always wash your hands before and after handling it and thoroughly clean the chopping board as soon as you've used it. As well as any other surfaces it's been in contact with.
Never let raw meat come into contact with other food in your fridge. And never – ever - let it come into contact with anything you'd eat straight from the fridge like ham, lettuce or cheese.
Store it separately in the coldest bit of the fridge. Usually the bottom of the fridge near the back.
Let the air circulate
All fresh meat - except bacon or anything in a vacuum pack - needs circulating air so as not to spoil. It does much better in the fridge if it's not covered in plastic. So store it in a bowl and cover it with a paper towel or tea towel, well away from ready to eat foodstuffs
Freeze meat as quickly as possible. Most of the damage to your meat is done when it's around the 0°C mark, because that's when the ice crystals are at their largest. These crystals puncture the meat so you lose some of the juices when it thaws.
Once frozen your biggest problem is air
Any frozen food in contact with the air will dry out and get freezer burn. So make sure anything you freeze is 100% airtight.
The slower you thaw your meat the less juice is lost. Defrost it in the fridge.