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Filet de Canard

Filet de canard is a classic, and favorite, French dish. We buy our duck breasts from Monsieur Laprée at the Saturday market in Beaune.  The great thing about this dish is that it can be adapted to any season.  For spring, we love to pair it with white asparagus from Monsieur Bonnardot's farm and fresh peas.  Some cook's get intimated about preparing duck.  We start our duck breast in a hot pan and serve it rare.  The most important thing is to find a good source for fresh duck and to not overcook it.  Keep it simple and it will quickly become a favorite.


Pan seared Filet de Canard

4 – 6 ounce duck breast halves, skin lightly scored in a crosshatch pattern

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

With a paper towel, blot any moisture from the duck breasts.  Season both sides of each breast with a pinch of sea salt and a few grinds of black pepper.  Pour some olive oil into two large ovenproof frying pans over medium-low heat.  (If you have only one large pan, cook the duck in 2 batches).  Add the duck skin-side down.  Move the duck breast every few minutes to help them brown evenly.  As the fat is rendered, carefully, remove the excess.  Be sure to move the pan away from the heat when you remove the fat.  If any fat hits the flame, it will cause a flare-up; tilt the pan, remove the fat with a large kitchen spoon, and transfer it to a metal bowl.  Cook the duck, fat side down,  for a total of  to 5 to 7  minutes until the skin is an even rich brown and very crisp.  Then, turn the duck over and continue to cook until the internal temperature of the breast reaches about 125 degrees F  for rosy medium rare.  Put the duck breasts skin-side down on the cooling rack and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing.  Taste for seasoning and serve on warm plates.