Duck breast is one of my favorite things to cook because it requires your full attention. You can learn so much about cooking simply by cooking duck breasts. Fat renders from solid to liquid under high heat and leaves you with a crisp skin and juicy meat. I recommend using a meat thermometer until you feel confident. This dish reminds me of the crispy duck salads I ate outside of Bangkok. My son is allergic to peanuts so we opted for cashews and it turned out amazing!
Step 1 -
Score and season duck breasts with salt the day before and leave to dry on a rack fitted tray uncovered, in the refrigerator.
Step 2 -
Mix all of the ingredients for the quick pickled cucumbers and onions and set aside.
Step 3 -
To make the cashew sauce, heat a sauce pot over medium heat and add the ghee
Step 4 -
Add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant and beginning to caramelize, about 5 minutes.
Step 5 -
Add Long-tail Sunset and stir to combine.
Step 6 -
Add cashew butter, rice vinegar, fish sauce, and soy sauce and mix until smooth, set aside.
Step 7 -
Put 2-3 duck breasts skin side down in a cold skillet and turn the heat up to medium high.
Step 8 -
Put another small pot or cooking weight on top of the breasts to keep the skin in contact with the pan as the fat renders out.
Step 9 -
Cook the breasts slowly, pouring the extra fat into a bowl as it renders.
Step 10 -
Play with the heat so it is a slow sizzle and not too fast, until most of the fast is rendered out of the skin about 10 minutes. Keep pouring the fat into the bowl as it renders.
Step 11 -
Add the duck fat back to the pan and turn the heat to high and crisp up the skin for about 3 minutes.
Step 12 -
Flip the duck over on to the meat side and lower the heat back down to low heat. Baste with the duck fat and keep them moving for about 2-3 more minutes depending on their size. You can take temperature, 128- 130 is medium rare.
Step 13 -
Let the duck rest 5-10 minutes before slicing.
Step 14 -
Plate duck over a bed of arugula with the cashew sauce and the cucumber/ onion pickles.
Step 15 -
Sprinkle with crispy shallots and enjoy.
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