Friday

[cooking] Duck breasts

Last night I cooked a birthday dinner for one of my friends- Pan roasted duck breast with a blueberry balsamic reduction, with roasted new potatoes and asparagus:

Dinner last night was roasted duck breast with blueberry balsamic sauce. I don't know how I'm going to top this next year @jenmac1818

Duck breast is pretty easy- the only real danger is over-cooking it. I scored the fat in a criss-cross pattern first. You want to cut through the fat but not all the way down to the meat. Add salt and pepper and then place fat-side down in a pan over medium heat. Spoon off the fat as it renders. After 6 or 7 minutes, turn the heat down to low. Render for a another 6 or 7 minutes, spooning the fat out of the pan as it pools up. Then turn the breasts over and finish in a 400 degree oven for only 5 minutes.

Duck breasts before slicing. Spooned off nearly a cup of rendered fat while it was cooking.

I collected nearly a full cup of fat from just two breasts. I'm saving it- to roast potatoes in or something. Once the breasts came out of the pan to rest, I sautéed some shallots in the leftover bits, added blueberries and balsamic vinegar and reduced to make a nice sauce for the duck. The potatoes and asparagus I did in one pan in the oven (30 minutes for the potatoes alone, add the asparagus and roast both for another 15 minutes).

So, all in all a pretty easy, low stress dinner to execute. I was able to do it even after having (more than I'd care to admit) vodka drinks. 

Dessert was soft molasses cookies:

Spicy and glittery Soft Mosasses Cookies. Recipe from the Baker's Companion. @kingarthurflour

I love these cookies. The recipe is from King Arthur Flour's Baker's Companion and they come out perfect every time. And there's a decent amount of ginger in these cookies which is a digestive aid. 

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