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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Magret with a duxelles farce

I like to stuff duck breast (magret) even though it is a moist meat with many layers of fat. The inclusion of stuffing just adds to the succulence and even more so when the stuffing is a mushroom, eschallot and herb duxelles.  Technically the duxelles mixture should be moisture free but I think it works better here if the mixture is a tiny bit moist.

To make a pocket in the duck breast: lay the breast fat side down on a board on a non-slip surface. Place one hand in the centre of the breast to ensure full control, take a very sharp knife in the other and make an incision at the fattest end of the breast. Using your steady hand as a guide, to feel the point of the knife inside the breast, carefully work the knife through the meat by edging it into the corners until you have achieved a large cavity. Care is required not to pierce the fat or flesh. Remove the knife. Turn the breast over and score the fat very lightly. It is most important not to score too deeply. The breast is now ready for stuffing and salting. Cover and refrigerate until required.

Duxelles – for two thick duck breasts

500g mushrooms, wiped clean
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons finely chopped eschallot
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat leaf parsley
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
100ml dry white wine

Whiz the mushrooms in a food processor. Turn out onto a clean cloth or paper towels and ring the moisture out. Place the mushrooms, butter and eschallots in a small saucepan and cook until the eschallots are soft. Add the wine and continue cooking until the liquid has completely reduced. Add the chopped parsley and season with salt and pepper.

I have just given you the method for preparing traditional duxelles but I tend not to be too particular about the mixture being very dry. As I said, I think it works better if the mixture is still a little moist. Cool the duxelles and fill each duck breasts cavity. Lightly salt the fat side of each breast with sea salt.

Cook the breasts as follows: 
The breasts are delicious served rare. Set your fire early and burn the charcoal down to the glowing red ember stage. Place the breasts fat side down and slowly cook melting the thick fat during the process but be prepared for flare-ups. Once the fat is reduced, turn each breast over and cook for another four or so minutes. Remove the breasts from the heat, cover to keep warm and rest for five to ten minutes. Slice across each breast into thick slices and serve. 

Breast served this way do not need a sauce.

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