Seared duck breasts

Video guide to seared duck breasts

 Hi, I've got a great romantic dinner idea for you; seared duck breasts served with oranges and a red vinegar sauce.

Score the duck breasts

So I'm going to start here with two duck breasts, with the skin on, and you need to score the top, just like I have done with this one here. So you need a sharp knife and just very carefully do a criss-cross pattern across the skin, minding your fingers, of course. Just score it the other way, again watching your fingers.

Now, I've already switched the oven on, so that's pre-heating to 200 degrees centigrade, or if you've got a fan oven, that'll be 180 or gas mark six. Right, I've got a good heavy pan here and I'm going to heat that up on a medium heat.

Cover with soy sauce

And then, while that's just heating up, I'm going to pop this onto the plate. Take the soy sauce and carefully pour this so that it goes in the cuts that you've made on the skin. This adds some really extra special flavour to the duck. OK, so they're covered in the soy sauce. Now, before I started this, I just patted the skin down with some kitchen towel and that makes sure it's nice and dry to start with, because that way it will get much crispier as we're cooking it.

Pan-fry then oven bake

These are going to go in the pan skin side down first of all and I'm going to leave these to cook for about eight minutes. During this cooking time, all the fat's going to loosen and come out of the skin and the skin's going to go much thinner and lighter crispy.

So the duck breasts have cooked for eight minutes skin side down and then I've turned them over and I've cooked them for another minute. Let me turn that heat off now and I'm going to bring over my roasting tray. Skin side up, there we go. These are going to go in to my pre-heated oven for about 10 minutes. Now, if your duck breasts are slightly larger than this, then you may want to do them for 12 minutes. And also don't forget as soon as you've finished dealing with raw meat, or fish or poultry or anything, make sure you wash your hands, which I've already done.

OK, in to the oven they go.

OK, so the duck breasts are out of the oven and they now need to rest for about 10 minutes. I've already rested these for five minutes, covered over in foil, so I'm just going to set these aside for another five minutes.

Make the orange and red vinegar sauce

Meanwhile, we need to make the sauce. So back to the pan where we originally cooked the duck breast, I'm going to take away most of the duck fat that's out of there and just leave enough, really, to cover the bottom of the pan, and this time you're going to pop this on a medium to low heat.

OK, so while that's heating up, let me take you through the ingredients we have here. We've got three tablespoons of red wine or sherry vinegar, one large shallot that's finely sliced, I've got one tablespoon of brown sugar, one orange that's been peeled and segmented and one tablespoon of chopped flat leaf parsley. Also I've got salt and pepper and just in case I feel the sauce is a bit too thick, I've got water on standby here.

So this has heated up nicely, the first thing I'm going to add are the sliced shallots and to that I'm just going to add some black pepper and a little bit of salt. Now we need to fry these away for a couple of minutes before we add the other ingredients.

So the shallots have been cooking for a couple of minutes there, let me move this out of the way. Remember with the duck fat, you can use this as a later date to cook some roast potatoes or winter vegetables. OK, next in to this sauce is the red wine vinegar followed closely by the sugar.

Now, you need to let this bubble for a little while and it will start to go really thick and syrupy. And it smells absolutely gorgeous. Make sure all the sugar's dissolved and when you're happy that it has and you've got a nice syrupy finish, that's when you add the oranges. Now the oranges don't need to be in for too long because you don't need to cook them, we only need to heat those through, so I'm going to add those now.

These flavours work really, really beautifully together and that has made the most delicious sauce to go with our duck breasts. I think they're all heated through now so I'm going to turn the heat off and go and organise the duck breasts.

OK, so let me take this duck breast over here and I'm going to slice this up. Looks absolutely delicious, perfectly cooked, smells great. Over here I've got some crispy lemon parmesan potatoes and some green beans which are cooked with almonds. Now let's just pop that delicious duck breast on there and I just need to spoon on a little bit of the oranges and red vinegar sauce. Just drizzle it over the top. Gorgeous and just sprinkle a little bit of the flat leaf parsley.

And there we go, a lovely romantic dinner; that's seared duck breasts with oranges and red vinegar sauce.

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