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Deeply red with a generous layer of healthy duck fat beneath the skin. I like to cook the breast high enough to get a good crisp skin on it but low enough to allow the fat to render, which is alway set aside for cooking. David McAnninch says it best: At the risk of sounding like a slavish Francophile, I'd say the ideal gateway to cooking duck at home is making a simple magret. I just season a breast ... with salt and pepper, score the skin, and place the breast skin side down in a dry, cold skillet (this allows more of the fat to render before it starts to brown). Then I light the burner; after 30 seconds or so the fat starts to sizzle, and soon it pools around the breast. Once the skin has turned golden and crisp, I pour off some of the fat, flip the meat, and let it cook until the flesh feels firm to the touch. While it rests, I make a simple pan sauce by softening some minced shallots in the duck fat, then adding stock and alcohol—say a small glass of port or red wine. A few fresh berries won't hurt either. I cook it all down until it's thick and syrupy. Finally, I slice the breast thin, spoon on the sauce, dress a green salad, et voilà, I've got a princely meal—no duck press required. $25.00 lb
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