I HAD A MID-WEEK CRAVING for magret de canard, or duck breast, a dish I discovered when I moved to France. A must try in french cuisine selon moi. Although it sounds like a gourmet meal, in reality, it does not take long to prepare.
Over the years, I have learned that the key to successful magret preparation is to take your time. If you try to cook the breast too quickly, you will burn the fat or the meat will not be tender. The idea is took cook the magret slowly, draining the fat as it releases from the skin. In doing so, you fulfill two needs: the skin will be crispy and you conserve your duck fat for use elsewhere. Duck fat is lower in saturated fats than butter and carries its own delightful flavor. I use it in preparation of the potatoes.
For magret de canard
1 large duck breast
5 garlic cloves, sliced
10 small potatoes, washed and diced.
1 tablespoon butter
Salt, to taste
Place the magret skin side down in a frying pan and turn the heat to medium. Meanwhile, in a separate pan, melt butter and added your potatoes. Stir to coat with butter. Check on your duck. As fat starts to melt from the duck, transfer to the potatoes and stir. Transfer with moderation and put any remaining fat in a bowl for later use. You don’t want to leave the oil with the duck as it will cause it to burn, setting off your fire alarm! As the potatoes soften, gently smash them. Place the skillet in the oven on 350F to finish off potatoes and crisp the top layer. After about 20 minutes of frying the duck and pouring off the fat, flip the breast so the skin side is down and finish cooking for about 3-5 minutes depending on how well done you like it. Remove from heat and let the magret sit for a few minutes to seal in the juices. Meanwhile, fry sliced garlic cloves in duck fat. Remove potatoes from the oven. Slice the duck breast and place on top of potatoes. Sprinkle with garlic slices and serve. Enjoy!