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Salt-Cured Duck Breasts

From Aquavit and the New Scandinavian Cuisine

Serves 4 as a Main Course

2 quarts warm water
1 cup kosher salt
4 boneless skin-on duck breasts (about 6 ounces each)

Combine the water and salt in a large bowl, stirring until most of the salt has dissolved. Let cool.

Meanwhile, trim away any excess fat from the duck breasts. Pierce the skin all over with a sharp kitchen fork.

Put the duck breasts into the brine and place a small plate on top of the duck to keep it submerged. Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours.

Preheat the oven to 400º F.

Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat until hot. Remove the duck breasts from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Lay the duck breasts skin side down in the pan and cook for 6 minutes, or until the skin is crisp and browned.


Drain most of the fat from the skillet, turn the breasts over, and transfer the skillet to the oven. Roast for 5 minutes. Remove the skillet from the oven and let the duck breasts sit in the hot skillet for 4 minutes to finish cooking

Thinly slice each duck breast on the diagonal and serve.

(Samuelsson recommends serving the duck with Mango Risotto (page 196), Creamed Baby Bok Choy (page 152), or Mustard Greens with Bacon (page 174). Or, for a simpler meal, serve the sliced duck breast on a bed of salad greens.)



(Updated: 10/30/08 SN)

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