duck and carrots, round 2

Just a quick story before you get the goods this time.

Duck is the regional food of South France. If you ever visit, except to not only to have the opportunity to eat duck at every meal, but to see a vast variety of duck products at every turn, from the supermarket to the high-end gastronomy stores.

So, logically, upon returning from London last week, I had to have some duck to celebrate.

But there’s one problem with duck.

When you sear the duck breast so that it’s nice and crispy, you end up with excessive quantities of duck fat. Yes, some of it does splatter all over the kitchen but most of it ends up the pan. It would be a shame to throw away all of that goodness, so you have to put it to good use. A dedicated French cook would fry potatoes in the duck fat with some garlic, which is lovely. But I was having a duck salad, and carrot crispies went much better.

Yes, duck fat fried carrot chips. Sprinkled with cinnamon and a little salt. They’re delicious. It’s a good thing that I only had two carrots, otherwise I would have been eating nothing but cinnamon carrot crispies all day long.

Duck and Persimmon Salad (they sell persimmons everywhere!)Image

1 duck breast

2 cups rocket greens (arugula would work as well)

1 small persimmon

½ yellow onion

¼ tsp each salt, cinnamon and ginger

Score the fat on top of the duck breast, sprinkle with salt and spices, and then put it fat side down in a hot pan. Keep it on medium heat while searing the breast, making sure to pour off extra fat as it accumulates (I did this once while cooking the breast). Let it render the fat for 7-10 minutes, turning down the heat as needed so that you don’t burn anything! Flip and cook for another 3-4 minutes for rare. If you’d like it more done, put it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes. While the duck is cooking, slice the onion and cut the persimmon into small pieces. While the duck rests, pour all of the fat into a small saucepan except for 1-2 tablespoons. Add the onions and cook them on low heat for 5 minutes, until they start to get soft. Then add the persimmon chunks and sauté everything for another 5 minutes. Slice up the duck breast and serve everything on top of a pile of rocket greens!

Cinnamon Carrot Crispies

2 large carrots

Duck fat

½ tsp saltImage

1 tsp cinnamon

Using a vegetable peeler, peel the carrots into slices. You’ll end up with a small pointy nub in the middle, which you can either eat as a snack or slice into thinner pieces. Heat the duck fat in a small saucepan with high sides (the fat will bubble up when you add the carrots) until it starts to get little bubbles, then throw in about half of the carrot slices. Cook for 1 to 1.5 minutes, until barely golden brown before pulling them out to rest on a paper towel. Immediately sprinkle with cinnamon and salt. Repeat until all the carrots are done and enjoy!

They’ve started putting up lights and building a Christmas village downtown! Winter is officially almost here!


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