October 2, 2012 by chicagogrilling365
I have a friend named Chase.
He’s one of my best friends.
In addition to being a super good dude/awesome roommate/comedic tour-de-force, he is also the finest specimen to ever play the game of kickball.
Yesterday, he blew his knee out.
It looks as though he’ll be laid up for awhile. Chase loves food, and is becoming a pretty good cook himself.
So I wanted to cook him dinner.
But he lives in Little Rock. And dammit, I still wanted to make him a meal.
I asked him what he wanted me to cook.
“Man, cook some duck if you can get it. And cook some veggies in the duck fat!”
Gene’s Sausage Shop, of course, had varying cuts of duck, all of which looked great. I thought about doing leg, but grilling isn’t the best approach to cooking it.
So, I bought two breasts, which made even less sense, because grilling them wouldn’t get that nice crisp skin that makes duck breast great.
So I decided I’d have to cheat. I’d start the breasts in a pan on high heat indoors and finish them on the grill.
However, those veggies could get cooked in a pan on the grill in the duck fat, no problem.
I had a red and yellow bell pepper, one spanish onion, as well as two heads of broccoli that I got at Gene’s.
I basically did all of my prep during commercial breaks of the Bears game.
Since broccoli takes longer to cook than peppers and onions, I blanched them for about three minutes, cooking them halfway.
I then scored the fat of the duck breasts (cut slits to ensure that the fat won’t seize up in the pan), seasoned both with salt and pepper, and seared them, skin side down, in a sautee pan until golden brown. I added the vegetables to the pan and set it on the grill to cook in the duck fat, just as Chase wanted.
I then placed both breasts on as well and tasted the vegetables.
They were ok.
The duck fat and salt had given it good flavor, but it was lacking. I went to the pantry and picked out soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and sambal (Korean chili paste), and added them to the veg.
That did the trick. I let those ingredients simmer and slightly reduce in the pan, pulled them off the heat along with the duck, and that was that.
While I let the duck rest to reabsorb its natural juices, I strained the liquid off the vegetables into a small cup to act as a dipping sauce for the duck.
I’ve been staying pretty Asian in style recently, and I don’t really know why. As far as today is concerned, when I think duck, I think Asian.
And to everyone else, I hope you’re eating well.