This first step applies to all three treatments:
Sous vide process the Magret in a sealed bag@
This will pasteurize and preserve the duck breasts.
Shock cold in iced water to 70F/21C to prevent autolysis; refrigerate @40F/4C.
NOTE: I caution against using manufacturers’/markets’ packaging for sous vide processing. They are not necessarily dedicated to endure heat. In this case, I checked with the manufacturer to make sure there was nothing else in the bag (like a sponge), and that the plastic was heat rated for sous vide. They assured me it was.
Once the breasts are processed and chilled, remove from the bag. Remove the skin by using a knife to follow along; gently peeling the skin by hand works too!
Crispy Fried Magret
Anchovy/Potato Salad with Olives
Magret Duck Breast, 1 ea.
Parsley, fresh, chopped, in abundance.
Salt+crushed chiles, as needed.
Muffaletta Relish (my version)
Chop very fine in a food processor:
Nicoise olives, 1 oz/30g.
Broccolini, 1 oz/30g.
Garlic, 2 cloves.
Celery, 1 oz/30g.
Carrot, 1 oz/30g.
Extra virgin olive oil, 1 oz/30g.
S+P, to taste
Anchovy Salad with Potatoes and Olives
Anchovies, 2 oz./60g.
Gold potatoes, 4 oz
Black olives, 1 oz./30g.
Capers, 20 ea.
extra virgin olive oil, 1 oz./30ml.
lemon juice, a few drops.
Tamarind concentrate (for the sauce described below), a few drops.
Fry the skin on low heat to render the fat, which we will save to make the emulsion. It will tend to curl, so I put a small pan on top to hold it flat–make sure you clean the bottom of the pan before you do this. The skin does not really get crisp because of this process. It is more like a confit, cooked out but with a soft texture. Set the skin aside to cool.
Measure 3oz/90ml of the duck fat reserved from rendering the skin. It needs to be at least 140F/60C, but no hotter than 183F/84C.
Measure 1/2oz/15ml. of Sous Jus, stock, or even white wine with a pinch of dried bouillon in it. S+P to taste, it takes very little.
Add a few drops of Tamarind Concentrate
Pour the liquids into a tall, clear, 16oz/450ml glass that a stick blender will just barely fit into the bottom of. This is important in order to create the correct amount of localized friction.
Slowly lower the stick blender into the glass, and let the liquids settle. It is essential that the water-based products accumulate in the bottom, and the oil hovers above.
Slowly begin to pulse the stick blender.
DO NOT LIFT IT UP
Again, this is essential in order to maximize friction in the bottom of the glass. Continue to pulse, and you will see the liquids begin to emulsify. There is a short accompanying video HERE.
Continue pulsing, and slowly TILT the stick blender to pull more oil down into the sauce. A little oil will always remain on the top; stir it in with a spoon. Even at this point, running the stick blender in the top of the sauce may reverse the emulsion!
Set the sauce aside in a warm place.
Make the salad:
Cut the gold potatoes into thin strips, using a mandolin, or by hand. Combine with the anchovies, black olives, capers, extra virgin olive oil, and
lemon juice, a few drops. Squeeze into a form and vacuum, if possible.
Sprinkle the Muffaletta relish on the center of the plate. Remove the potato salad from the vacuum and ring, and place on top of the relish. In the bottom right, I show the potato salad broken apart, to show how it looks if you choose not to vacuum it.
Top the salad with a little bit of the sauce.
Creating the Crust
Coat the the rendered skin and breast with egg white, and sprinkle with S+P. Press chopped parsley onto the surface, top and bottom, and allow to rest for a few minutes.
Heat vegetable oil in a pan to 350F/176C, and deep-fry the skin. Some people want to call this “flash frying,” but that implies that deep-frying is excessive in principle. It does not take long; heat the skin all the way through to avoid greasiness. The surface will be crispy, but the skin itself will still be somewhat unctuous until it cools. Set the skin aside.
Deep-fry the breast in the same oil as the skin, at the same temperature, until it is brown as shown. The internal temperature should be 129F/54C.
NOTE: There is no shame in well done. If you or your spouse or guests prefer the duck less pink, just leave it in the oil longer or use a torch to sear the medallions after slicing. The duck will still be delicious, but the flavor will be a little stronger.
Before and after:
After letting it rest on the board, slice the breast on the bias to create uniform medallions.
Drizzle the medallions with the butter sauce, sprinkle with parsley, and enjoy!
Pan Seared Magret Medallions Comăneci
Buttered Rice Balance Bar
Pepper Tricolore Triangle, Broccolini
Sous vide processed Magret breast, 4 oz/120g, cut into three or four medallions.
Flour for dredging, as needed.
Vegetable oil, for sautéing, as needed.
Hinode/Calrose or other short grain rice, 1/3 cup/90ml.
Broccolini (or broccoli), 2oz/60g., tossed in vegetable oil and pan roasted for 5 minutes @350F/176C.
Triangle Salad Tricolore
Peppers, roasted, green, red, and orange, totaling 1oz/30g.
Radish, 2 or 3 slices.
Extra virgin olive oil, a few drops.
Lemon juice, a few drops.
S+P to taste.
Make the Salad
Sous vide process onion @183F/84Cx 1 hour.
Sous vide process peppers @183F/84Cx 30 minutes.
Shock vegetables cold. Scorch peppers with a torch or in the salamander attachment of your oven, and peel. Some blackened peel may remain; this is the cost of doing business. The flavor is slightly smoky, and the chopping will leave some behind.
Chop the peppers and onion into small pieces. Combine with the oil and lemon and push into a triangle or other shape. Cookie cutters work well for this. Add a few drops to make the salad congeal a little tighter if desired. Press sliced radish into the top. vacuum if you have the necessary equipment: otherwise just chill for a little while and it will keep its shape.
Cook the rice according to directions on packaging, add 1oz/30g. butter when done, and form into the shape of a balance beam on plate. You can see, I used a square cookie cutter to form three cubes, and then lined them up.
Pound the medallions out as thin as possible without altering their structural integrity, and dredge lightly in flour.
Sauté @350F/176C until desirably brown on the first side, flip, and remove from the pan. Ninety percent of the cooking time is on the first side. This prevents shrinking and overcooking—it really does.
Deglaze the pan with a little light stock, and add a little demi-glace before adding 2 oz. of Beurre Monte. If you do not have demi-glace on hand (most people do not), I find that Knorr makes an adequate replacement.
Place the salad and the broccolini as shown. Arrange the sautéed medallions along the balance beam.
Sauce the medallions, but try to allow the edges to show just a little for visual texture.
The Magret medallions can be formed from “leftover” duck from the first recipe if desired, and that’s exactly what I did.
Grilled Magret Oregonian
Crispy Duck Skin Crumbles with Mint
Concentrated Pear Butter
Magret Duck Breasts, as needed.
Mint, fresh, chopped (or parsley), in abundance.
Cherry tomatoes, as needed.
Yukon gold potato, processed sous vide @183F.84CX1 hour, shocked cold.
Radish, sliced, as needed.
Hawaiian Black Lava Salt, as needed (optional, but cool).
Roast the skin @350F/176C until dark brown and dry. At least one hour. After that, I get impatient. It will not get crisp at this point, but as it cools, it will become quite crisp. Chop or grind very fine, and combine with 1 Tablespoon chopped mint. This is intended to represent, if not actually resemble, the forest fire scorched Oregon landscape: dark, with green poking out all over. Set this aside.
If you don’t have time to make the concentrated pear butter, you can use any kind of dark preserves with a little softened butter mixed in, about 1oz/30g.
Press some chopped mint and S+P into the Magret breast, this is a quick and easy. Spray with PAM or a few drops of oil, and grill to an internal temperature of 129F/54C in a very hot pan or broiler pan @450F/232C.
Set aside to rest. This will make it much easier to slice thin.
I used a special form in the shape of Oregon, which may not be available in your area. Fortunately, Oregon is quite square; approximating its shape is easy. You can use Texas, Norway, or wherever you live, if that is your preference. I put the concentrated pear butter in the form, and sprinkled the crumbled skin mint mixture over it.
Remove the form carefully, and it might retain its shape.
I find the visual effect intriguing. It represents the appearance of the state, although it may not actually resemble it.
Slice the Magret as thin as you possibly can, and shingle it down the plate.
Garnish the plate with thin sliced radish and potato, sprinkle with the black lava salt. Put a cherry tomato on to represent red.
Spoon a little of the pear/crumble mixture on the slice of duck, fold, and eat it. I gotta say, this is really good.
The pear concentrate is really worth making. It has a different texture than confiture, very sticky.