Pan-Seared Duck with Goose Island’s Madame Rose

duck - final

Duck: a bird I love, yet find incredibly difficult to cook. I can’t count the amount of Ducks I’ve roasted, only to find that instead of crispy skin and succulent, moreish meat within, i’ve ended up with dry, tasteless fowl. I don’t buy whole ducks anymore. They scare me.

Meanwhile, I have been able to nail fool-proof (and the above statement should qualify me as a duck-fool) breasts, and when put with a beer with high fruitiness such as Madame Rose, it becomes a bit of a wonder. Basically, it’s about heat.

Take your breasts and score heavily on the skin side. Rub with Salt, and a little five-spice powder (which normally contains Star Anise, Cloves, Cinnamon, Pepper and Fennel) and get a heavy frying pan hot. Very hot. Don’t put any oil in, and when you’re happy with the heat, lay the breasts in, skin side down.

duck - final 2Now, keep an eye on them. The amount of fat that comes off them is staggering. After 90 seconds or so, drain the fat out of the pan (careful!) and return the breasts. Do this a couple of times until there’s a minimum of fat. Turn the breast once, and colour the flesh side. Your skin should be nice and brown, crispy yet succulent underneath. When the breast is firm to the touch, and to your liking, take them out and rest them. All in all, you’re looking at about 6-7 minutes cooking time for a medium-sized breast.

Whilst they are resting (and it’s massively important you do rest them; don’t even think about skipping that part), make a little pouring liquor by gently heating dark soy sauce, a little Madame Rose, a pinch of brown sugar, one minced Garlic clove and little rice-wine vinegar. Lob a fresh Star Anise in there, and when the liquor has thickened ever-so-slightly, you’re done.

Slice the duck, pour on the sauce, pour your beer, and serve with noodles or rice, accompanied with a little chopped Coriander and Spring Onion. The meat should be crispy-skinned and seductively pink in the middle, the sauce sweet and savoury.

IMG_3426Beer-wise, Madame Rose (7.1%abv) isn’t massively complex on its own; plenty of acid, a hint of funk, and an underlying cherry note that’s more akin to cherry-skin than juice – bitter and crisp. Pair it with the sweet, smoky flavours in the duck and sauce here, though, and that magic thing happens where all of a sudden everything becomes tastier; cutting through the richness and pairing perfectly.

If you don’t want to be perhaps as obvious as the duck-and-cherry combo, I would probably experiment with a robust IPA from the likes of The Kernel or Magic Rock – or even one of Wild Beer Co’s bitter and woody Saisons.


About leighgoodstuff

Blog: I'm Leigh Linley; born and bred in Leeds, and writing about it since 2005. TGS exists solely to highlight the great beers that are out there; brewed with passion by Craft Brewers around the World. I also edit the 'Tavern Tales' section of Culture Vulture, which looks at Pubs and Pub Life rather than the beer in the glass.

Posted on 13/04/2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. I love duck, it’s bloody delicious especially crispy duck & pancakes oh my lord I could eat them until there was a duck shortage 😉
    I rarely cook it though for all the reasons you mention & the fact that a whole duck costs so much & delivers so little meat. This sounds really nice though & so simple, one I’ll have to try once I’ve bagged a Madame Rose

    Nice one Leigh

  2. this sounds absolutely MAGICAL. thanks for sharing!

  3. Looks great, although I’ve got to disagree about getting your pan scorching got before adding the duck. I’ve found the reverse to work better.

    Add your duck to a cold pan and then crank the heat up over a few minutes. That way more of the fat renders out before te skin becomes crispy. Adding it to a hot land sears and seals the skin before the fat has chance to escape I find.

  4. Thanks for your suggestion Neil!

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