It was my actual birthday and I was recovering from a delicious farm to table hangover.
Among other things, I just wanted a big chunk of delicious savory meat. On my birthday I am allowed to break all sorts of rules, and one thing I promised was that I wouldn’t smoke up the house by roasting duck or searing steak until I’ve invented some new cookware.
So for my birthday, I requested that I pan sear a duck! Good thing it was raining that day, and I could let out the smoke before the alarm went off.
First, the sauces.
I boiled down some shallots, red onion, apple cider, and rice wine to make a sauce. The apple cider was alcoholic and left over from a random boozy weekday. You can really use whatever sweet liquor you have.
Then I chopped some some fresh shiso leaves and wasabi and mixed it with my dijon mustard to marinate overnight. Don’t accidentally put this on your hot dog, friends.
Now it’s time for the rice. Instead of water, I used half water, and half chicken stock. Once it’s cooked, I mixed it with a spatula to cool,so that when I cook it in a pan, you can coat every grain grain with delicious sauce.
I cut up some maitake and shimeji mushrooms, and lightly coated them in salt and olive oil. Then I put them in a 400 degree oven to roast until golden. This took 15 minutes? 30 minutes? I don’t know. You can tell when they are cooked because they become slightly charred at the edges, darker, and translucent.
I mixed the cooked mushrooms with some chopped up daikon and kimchi and mixed it into my rice, and I stirred and stirred the pan until the rice became uniformly orange. And then I mixed in some whole kimchi pieces at add extra *extra* crunch. For decoration, I topped my mound of rice with thin strips of nori that I cut with some kitchen shears.
For the duck, I got some serious high quality duck breast, because… well Eataly is the closest market to me that had duck breast. And all they had was Pat Le Frieda. It didn’t feel like total highway robbery though.
Before the start, I heated the oven to 375 degrees, and left a hot pan inside the oven, so that I can transfer the meat onto a hot surface.
I cut criss crosses on the fat, and COVERED it with sauce. Don’t be shy! Over-season with salt and pepper. I then used the meat side to wipe up the excess salt and pepper.
Then I put the duck skin side down in a cold pan and turned the heat to medium low to render the delicious fat.
After 6-8 minutes, there should be a nice bubbly layer of melted duck fat at the bottom of the pan. You can pour this out and save it and use it for all sorts of deliciousness. I flipped the duck over, and the fat was crackling and deliciously golden.
I cooked the duck on the skinless side for 2 minutes to seal the juices, and put it in the hot oven skin side down. There’s lots of flipping with tongs here. But that’s why I got my mitts.
I left the duck in the oven for 10 minutes until the breast is nice and bouncy to the touch. (I wonder if chefs sometimes get mistaken for perverts) I poked it a few times to make sure that it had some yield, but didn’t want to poke the juice out. I then placed the duck breasts skin side up on a cutting board to rest for 30 minutes while I went to primp myself. When I sliced it, it was perfectly pink.
I decorated it with fresh chives, the mustard and sauce, and voila.
Lunch is served!