Saturday, March 04, 2006

Duck and Potatoes

Hungarian duck is really good, and only a few of them have avian flu. Duck breasts with their skin are available from the market near Blaha Lujza Tér. (Last semester I only ever saw duck breasts without their skin.) This was yesterday's dinner, with Mike, Patrick, Rosanna, and Tomoko:
  • 1 duck breast in Hungarian, or 2 in English (in Hungarian, a duck breast means both sides of one duck)
  • 1 onion
  • one clove garlic
  • about 1 and 1/4 cups red wine
  • potatoes
  • salt and pepper

Cut the potatoes into 3/8 inch slices. Cut into the duck's skin, making a crosshatch pattern, with your lines about 1/4 inch apart. Cut as deep into the fat as you can without reaching the meat. Salt and pepper both sides of the duck.

Heat up a skillet over medium-high heat. When it's hot, put the duck on skin side down. Cook for about eight minutes. As the fat renders, pour into another pan to fry potatoes in. (If you end up with too much fat, pour it somewhere else and hold on to it.)

Fry the potatoes over medium-low heat in batches, flipping them once, and taking them out when they are cooked through. Put them onto a paper towel, and put a paper towel over them. When the potatoes have all been through this, cook them in batches again, this time over high heat, letting them crisp. (This will finish after the duck, but not too much after the sauce is done.)

Flip the duck after the eight minutes have passed. Cook about five minutes, or until the duck is almost done. Move it to a warm oven, holding onto the pan.

Make sure you have a tablespoon or two of rendered duck fat in the pan you were just frying the duck in. Add the chopped onion, and after a little bit the garlic. Cook until the onions are soft. Pour in the wine, turn the heat up to high, and let it reduce, scraping off as much of the pan stickings so they get in the sauce. (If you happen to have demi-glace or other stock, add some too.) Cut up the duck into slices. When the sauce tastes like sauce and not wine, add salt and pepper as needed and put the duck back into the pan to warm it up. Serve.


sam said...

i wish i had a kitchen. and some duck, etc.

ps did avian flu actually reach hungary? the biased US media has stopped reporting on it, now that the american public is no longer scared.

Ellen said...

Hi Toby, I've enjoyed reading your blog since Sam and Joel turned me on to it, but now I have some questions.
Can you catch avian flu from eating an infected bird? I thought it was only from hanging around the live birds.
Are the duck breasts that you get boned? (i.e. all bones removed)?
How fatty is it when cooked? I haven't made duck in ages because of the fat factor. But this sounds delicious.

Toby said...

I was under the impression that you could get avian flu from eating poultry, but according to Wikipedia it spreads only through "saliva, nasal secretions, and feces." Avian flu has reached Hungary.

The duck is deboned, as is the duck my grandfather buys in New York when he makes this. It's not too fatty at all; lots of fat renders and you pour it off, either to be disposed of or to fry other things in.