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The sauce for this dish easily works with pork or even beef, but is especially good with all poultry. Duck has a reputation of being difficult-from greasy to rubbery to gamy to hard to cook. It really isn’t that hard to deal with as long as you don’t try to cook the duck whole. The breasts are easily done in a sauté pan that is transferred to the oven to finish. Legs should be cooked separately, either roasted, braised, or confited (slow cooked in their own fat). Depending on who you talk to, duck fat is considered to be between butter and olive oil as far as health benefits go. I recommend you look it up yourselves if you are curious. I will say it washes off hands a lot easier than any vegetable shortening I’ve ever used, and it tastes great. So, while cooking this recipe, have a little heat-proof container to put the fat you drain off into handy. Look for moulard or Pekin duck breasts for this recipe. These breasts are larger and ½ a full breast (1 side) will feed two.
2 moulard or Pekin duck breasts (2 full halves), extra fat and skin trimmed and reserved, skin scored with a razor sharp knife at ¼-inch intervals, without cutting through into the flesh
Salt and pepper as needed
½ tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
1 tablespoon, plus a little more if needed, high-quality brandy such as Osocalis or cognac
1 recipe of Red Wine and Blueberry Sauce for Duck (See recipe)
Place the duck into a close-fitting non-reactive pan skin side up. Drizzle the duck with brandy, then season with a little salt and a decent amount of coarsely ground pepper. Scatter with ¾ of the thyme. Flip and dress the same as above. Allow to marinate for a couple hours to all day in the refrigerator.
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