A NEW FAVORITE Crispy Balsamic Duck Breast served over an Arugula and Endive Salad with Lemony Dressing is a beautiful change of pace. (hartphoto.com / Food styling by Carla Buerkle, carlabuerkle.comhttp://carlabuerkle.com)
Julia says this is a “delicious change of pace from the everyday burger or pork chop dinner.” She likes roasting in a cast-iron pan in the oven because, she says, it creates a good sear and a crisp skin.
5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, plus extra for drizzling
4 duck breast halves
Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
With a sharp knife, cut diagonal parallel slashes 1-inch apart through the skin of each duck breast half. Cut slashes in both directions, making a diamond pattern. Be sure to make cuts in the skin only, being careful not to pierce the flesh. These slashes will allow the skin to crisp.
Put 5 tablespoons vinegar in a shallow dish just wide enough to fit the four breast halves. Place the duck breast halves into the vinegar skin side up. Cover and marinate 20 minutes at room temperature (or 2 hours in the refrigerator). Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Preheat a cast-iron skillet with an oven-proof handle over medium heat until almost smoking. Add the duck breasts to the hot pan skin side down and cook until crisp, about five minutes. Turn the breasts and place the pan in the oven for about 8 minutes for medium-rare, 10 minutes for well-done.
After removing from the oven, cover the duck with foil and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes before cutting into thin slices; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange the slices on a plate and drizzle with additional balsamic vinegar to taste. Serve with your choice of sautéed greens or over a bed of green salad (see recipe above). Serves 4.