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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Magret de Canard (Duck Breast) with Caramelized Turnips

When the sweet old lady at the supermarket explained to us the difference between supermarket heavy cream and farm heavy cream, we dropped the cream and bought this beautiful duck breast from her counter. I had no idea how wonderfully this lovely piece of red poultry would pair with turnips. The secret is to caramelize them in the fat that the duck leaves behind. This is not icky, it is the good, flavorful type of fat (that you don't eat everyday anyway). Here you can actually buy jars of duck or goose fat for cooking. Isn't that crazy? If this sweet old lady hadn't explained to me how to cook it, I would have been missing out big time on some flavaaaaaa.
Serves 2
1 Duck breast with skin
1 Tbsp dried thyme
salt/fresh pepper
1 lb (about 8) turnips, peeled and quartered
2 Tbsp basalmic vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1. Steam the turnips until just tender. How? I used my steamer basket in my pressure cooker and cooked under pressure for 5 minutes. If you do not have a steamer or pressure cooker, the real directions are to boil for 20 minutes or so. I prefer to steam when I can because it preserves the nutrients in the item being cooked. Set aside.
2. Make criss-cross cuts on the skin of the duck breast. Rub some thyme, salt, and fresh ground pepper on both sides.
3. Place the duck breast skin side down in a frying pan and cook on high heat for 7 minutes.
Turn over and cook for 4 minutes. (This will have it nice and pink in the center. If you prefer more cooking, go ahead.)
Remove the breast and set aside, but keep warm.
4. The frying pan should have some lovely bubbling duck fat in it. Place the quartered turnips in this goodness and cook until golden with the sugar. Deglaze with the basalmic vinegar.
Cut the cooked duck breast in half and serve and be happy that the husband didn't notice they weren't potatoes!

This was just lovely. Next time I see Magret on sale, I will definately buy it. It is way worth a meal on saturday night at a restaurant.
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