Here’s a secret most restaurants don’t want you to know: That $40 duck breast they’re selling you is one of the easiest pick-ups in a kitchen. During busy service, I’d take searing duck breast over poaching eggs, hands down. With just a few simple steps, you can impress friends and charm lovers with fantastic duck breast, any night of the week.
Unlike chicken, duck breast has a hue and texture akin to that of red meat and is safe to consume medium-rare, so bring on the pink. Perfectly cooked duck breast will have moist and juicy meat, with a luscious and crunchy skin. The first step is to score the fat to help it render more efficiently. Ducks are busy commuter birds who need lots of fat to fuel them through long flights. This thick fat, when rendered down to a slender and succulent layer beneath crisp skin, is a culinary marvel, but you can easily end up with too much of a good thing. Scoring gives the fat more exposure to heat by increasing the surface area and allowing it to render faster.
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