Today we’re diving into some juicy Maple Glazed Magret de Canard. For those of you not familiar with the French name – we’re dealing with duck breast. You don’t need many ingredients to make this recipe, but you DO need to source a top quality magret. Here in Normandy we hand-picked a gorgeous 450 gram magret for just 9 euros at our favorite co-op store in Menilles, Direct Producteurs. When choosing your magret, you should buy enough meat so everyone can enjoy about a deck-of-cards sized portion. Beyond this portion size, you’ll probably want to stop eating anyway. The magret itself is twice cooked, first gradually pan-seared (emphasis on gradually!) and then baked in the oven in its delicious Maple Balsamic Glaze. The whole process is relatively quick, but if you’ve never attempted magret before, there are a few hints which I’ll explain. But first! Our ingredient line-up:
Salt, soy-sauce, 100% natural maple syrup, Sweet Soy Sauce (if you don’t have this, you can add some sugar to regular soy sauce), Balsamic Vinegar, and the duck breast. Quack Quack.
First trim the fat which overhangs around the duck breast. The fat should align just at the same point as the meat. Then use a shap non-serraded knife (I know… don’t look at the knife I used…) to sear the fat on two diagonals, like so:
Season with salt and pepper on both sides. With this recipe, there is NO waiting for your pan to heat up because it is vital that you cook your magret starting from a cold pan. Place your magret skin-side down and then turn the heat to medium. The fat from the skin will start to seep out. Once there is enough to pour out of your pan, remove it. Keep removing the fat until your magret’s skin is nice and golden brown.
After about 10-15 minutes, your magret’s skin should look like this when you turn it over. I propped my magret on the side for about a minute before continuing on to cooking the meat-side for an additional 4-5 minutes, still over medium heat.
Transfer the magret to a small Pyrex pan. Pour your Maple Balsalmic Glaze (recipe below) over the magret. It should be sitting in a nice puddle of glaze. Bake in the oven at 200C or 392F for an additional 6-7 minutes. Magret is served “rosé” (pink), and straight from the oven! We enjoyed ours with some “carmashed potatoes” (we like to have a few carrots mashed in too add variety. Just boil the carrots at the same time as the potatoes and proceed as you’d normally make mashed potatoes). This is a yummy lunch to enjoy with a glass of red wine, although we had ours with some Cidre Brut from Normandy. Followed by cheese with a fresh crusty baguette, and lastly some of my Spiced Pear Applesauce for a perfect sweet finish. Yes, lunch is our big meal. Little man conked out directly after enjoying his!
You might deserve a siesta after enjoying this masterpiece too…