Saturday, March 29, 2008

Franck's Roasted Duck Breast with Green Olives

I have never cooked duck.

Until now.

I’ve read the blogs that rave about duck in all its forms and thought, I’ll get around to that eventually.

Back in the restaurant days, we served duck breast…seared and served with a Merlot sauce that was wonderful, but that ‘s the only time I ever had it. We bought it from D’Artagnan, the purveyor of all things duck. When I decided it was time to forge ahead towards duck nirvana, I went to their website and ordered two magret duck breasts. And some duck fat for good measure. They arrived the next day and went straight to the freezer where they’ve been rolling around for the past two months.

Til this week.

Six ingredients and fifty minutes later you are sitting down to a meal that will make you want to put D’Artagnan on your speed dial.

Duck Nirvana has been reached.

Franck’s Roasted Duck Breast with Green Olives
Adapted from The Provence Cookbook by Patricia Wells

2 magret duck breasts
1 cup green olives, pitted and halved
Coarse sea salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
One good swirl extra virgin olive oil
1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, rinsed and sliced thickly don’t peel

Preheat oven to 500.

Place the duck breasts, fat side down meaty side up. Arrange a good sized row of sliced green olives done the center of the meaty side of one breast. Season with salt and pepper. Place the other duck breast meaty side down on top of the breast with the olives. This creates the roast. Tie with cotton twine at one inch intervals and be sure to tie the ends.

Season again with salt and pepper.

In cast iron skillet, heat extra virgin olive oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking.

Add the duck roast and sear on both sides until golden brown, takes about 7-8 minutes. Remove duck from pan, put on plate and season once again with salt and pepper.

Pour off fat in pan and add the potatoes. Season with pepper and add extra green olives if you have any left that you haven’t nibbled on while you were slicing them. Put the duck roast on top of the potatoes.

Cover pan tightly with aluminum foil.

Place in center of the oven and cook for 25 minutes for rare, 30 minutes for medium-medium rare and 35 for medium to well done. Best at medium rare.

Remove duck roast to carving board. Cover with foil and let rest for 20 minutes.
If potatoes need extra cooking, pop back in the oven.

Slice roast diagonally and serve on top of those fantastic potatoes.

Serves 3-4.


RecipeGirl said...

It's so funny- I have been perusing duck recipes too (not having ever made it before.) Perhaps I'll have the courage to take the plunge after reading your successful post!!

Mary Coleman said...

This is a killer recipe in every way. Definitely do this one!! Let me know how it turns out.

SteamyKitchen said...

Duck Nirvana!!! I've never reached duck nirvana at home yet...

cookiecrumb said...

Don't you love Patricia Wells? Sounds like you went in there and made it your own.

Jessy and her dog Winnie said...

This sounds delicious!

Mary Coleman said...

jaden: you'll know it when you reach it. it's a wonderful place.
cookiecrumb: Patricia Wells is in my top five favorites. thanks for the compliment!
jessy: it's too good, honey!!

MrOrph said...


You DID NOT "pour off the fat"!!!


We love the duck fat...well almost as much as we love the duck.

I roasted a whole 3.5 lb duck and it yielded 13 ounces of fat. The fingerling potatoes in that fat were fantastic! Tell me you saved the fat...please?

Mary Coleman said...

Calm thyself, Mr. duck fat leaves this kitchen!! Actually, I thought there would be a lot more of it at that stage. I think, because you don't score the fat, that it just infuses the duck and potatoes as it roasts. It was absolutely wonderful. Ya'll should try it. I think you'd be pleased.
Thanks for stopping by!!!