I love recipes that use all parts of an ingredient. When I saw the recipe for deconstructed duck fried rice on Simon’s blog Stranded on the Island, which uses the duck breast, skin, and fat from the skin, I decided straight away to make it as soon as possible. Using the fat rendered from the skin to fry the rice is a great idea, as it gives the whole dish a nice flavor of duck. This dish is a great example of how you can obtain a great result using only a few ingredients. I cooked the breast meat sous-vide to make sure it would be medium rare throughout. If you don’t have sous-vide equipment, you can follow Simon’s method of cooking the breast meat instead. Here’s what I did…
For 2 servings
2 half duck breasts with skin, about 400 grams (.9 lbs)
130 grams (2/3 cups) rice, cooked and cooled
1 shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tbsp soy sauce
3 scallions (green onions), julienned
salt and freshly ground black pepper
The hardest part of this recipe is to separate the skin from the duck breast. A combination of pulling with your fingers and a sharp knife does the trick.
If there is any skin left on the meat, or meat on the skin, trim that with the same sharp knife.
Prick the skin many times with the tip of a knife to help rendering the fat.
Arrange the skin in a frying pan over medium heat…
…and put a pot, weighted down with something heavy, on top to keep it flat.
Cook over medium heat for about half an hour until the fat has rendered from the skin and the skin is brown and crispy.
Pour the fat into a bowl and allow the skin to drain on paper towels.
Season the breast meat with salt and freshly ground black pepper on both sides.
Brown the breast meat in the pan in which you rendered the fat from the skin — there will be enough fat left for that.
Brown the breast briefly on both sides.
Vacuum seal the breast meat. (If using a chamber vacuum sealer, allow the meat to cool down first, as otherwise the low pressure will bring the juices inside the meat to a boil.)
Cook the breast meat sous-vide for 2 hours at 55C/131F.
The duck has almost finished cooking sous-vide, heat the rendered duck fat in a wok and add a minced shallot and 3 julienned scallions (reserving some of the darkest green for garnish).
Stir-fry for a couple of minutes until the scallions and shallots are soft, then add a minced clove of garlic.
Stir-fry until you can smell the garlic, then add the rice. (Do not allow the garlic to brown.) Stir fry the rice for a couple of minutes.
Season to taste with soy sauce, about 2 tablespoons, and stir fry to incorporate.
Chop or break up the skin into pieces.
Add the crispy duck skin to the rice.
Stir fry briefly to incorporate.
Take the duck out of the sous-vide, discard the juices, and slice with a sharp knife.
Serve the fried rice on preheated plates with the sliced duck on top, and garnish with the reserved darkest green of the julienned scallions.
I served this with a side of roasted eggplant with soy sauce and fresh ginger juice.
This is great with a pinot noir.
Malloreddus is the pasta shape of Sardinia, which you can buy in the store (also called gnocchetti sardi) or make yourself from scratch. That is what I did, and I served the malloreddus with a great sauce of fennel and sausage. The flavor is simply amazing.