Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! Duck

Pan-fried duck breast with lingonberries and wild mushrooms

Hello, “I am Inga from Sweden.”

I thought I’d take my turn quoting a Trading Places scene since they’ve proved popular in the comments.

I’m not Inga but I am visiting Sweden. Land of Abba and Vikings.

Enough nonsense.

A lovely dish coming up. Duck breast. Pan-fried. Served with a punchy lingonberry sauce, Hasselback potato, wild mushrooms and tender stem broccoli. Did you know the Hasselback potato was created by trainee chef, Leif Elisson, in 1953 at restaurant Hasselbacken in Stockholm?

My Practical started with a crown of duck. Once the breasts were removed the carcass was chopped up, browned in the oven, and a jus made.

Chef said what often happens when cooking duck breast is to have too little skin and fat. When it hits the heat it shrinks and contracts and curls the duck breast. Trimming the duck breast is key. Retain a skirt of approximately 1.5 cm of fatty skin around the perimeter meat. If you get it right, it will shrink to the size of breast and sit neatly on top. What’s also critical is temperature control. Too hot a pan and the skin will burn before all the fat renders out. At first, as the fat began to render it looked a little like water in the pan. As it continued, more fat appeared and the pan started to sound hotter because the fat was sizzling. I drained the fat so far, keeping the duck skin-side down. I had to drain the fat again before the skin looked crispy and golden. Into the oven. After 4 minutes there was some white protein on the sides of the meat—a good sign it was cooking internally. But it was still deep pink and bouncy to the touch. Back in for a wee bit longer. Bingo. Time for a rest. Skin-side up to keep it crispy.

Assortment of wild mushrooms

The pan was deglazed with lingonberries and sugar. The jus made earlier was added and reduced to a coating consistency. Cold butter to thicken and shine. Wow! Powerful! Tasteeee.

The Charlotte potato was trimmed at the bottom lengthways so it sat securely in the pan. A skewer was pushed through lengthways about a quarter up from the bottom. Then vertical slices were made from the top, downwards until the knife hit the skewer. Groovy, eh? The skewer was pulled out and the potatoes cooked in butter in the oven. Basting every few minutes helped the cook, developed colour and encouraged the slats to open up. Yum. Topped with breadcrumbs and rock salt. to serve

Shallots were sweated in butter. Chestnut, Oyster, Shimeji and Enoki mushrooms were added with parsley. Very nice.

In demo, Salmon Gravadlax was also served up. 3 days in the making; 2 days curing in salt and dill. Served with mustard and dill sauce, pickled cucumber and a very nice spelt crisp bread. Simon does not like salmon. No sir.

Salmon Gravadlax