Seared Rosemary Duck Breast with Duck Fat "Fries" and Ramps
There's something about duck that just tastes like spring time to me, so on Saturday, I took a trip to the Union Square Farmer's Market intent on buying duck. I arrived to the exciting realization that ramps are in season! If you haven't had the pleasure of tasting ramps, they are like a combination of a green onion and a leek. They have a very strong odor and an absolutely delicious flavor. For the side dish here, I just took of the roots, chopped them up and sauteed them in a little bit of butter, olive oil, salt and pepper for 5-7 minutes. When I'm making duck, I also always take the opportunity to use the rendered duck fat to make duck fat "fries." These are baked so that I can convince myself that they're slightly healthier.
Seared Rosemary Duck Breast Serves 2
2 boneless duck breasts
2 tsps fennel seeds
1 tsp rosemary
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Pre-heat oven to 400F. Crush fennel seeds, rosemary, and garlic together with mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Mix in olive oil and salt. Place duck breasts skin side up. Cut cross hatches in duck skin. Rub skin side and meat side with fennel mixture. Place duck breasts skin-side down in oven-safe skillet and heat pan to medium/medium high heat. Let it brown for at least 10 minutes until skin is golden and several tablespoons of duck fat have rendered in pan. Pour off duck fat and reserve. Flip duck breasts over and continue cooking in oven approximately 5-7 minutes more. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.
Duck Fat "Fries"
1 lb German Butterball Potatoes (these are delicious if you can find them, but any good roasting potato will do), sliced into "fries"
2 tbsp rosemary, chopped or crushed
2-3 tbsp rendered duck fat
1 tbsp olive oil (optional)
Preheat oven to 400F. Place sliced potatoes in an oven-safe pan. Sprinkle with rosemary, salt and pepper. Pour rendered duck fat over the top and toss to coat. Add additional olive oil if potatoes are not coated. Roast for 30-35 minutes, turning twice, until potatoes are brown and crispy outside and soft in the middle.