Tellicherry Duck Breast
Vikas Khanna | Yield: 4
This easy duck breast recipe has a distinctively flavored sauce fragrant with long pippali peppercorns, curry leaves and powder of southern India.
- 4 Magret Duck Breasts, skin-on, trimmed of connective tissue
- 3 tablespoons Duck Fat
- 8-10 fresh curry leaves
- 1 14.5 oz. can of coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
- 1 tablespoon long black pippali pepper, (aka piper longum) freshly ground
- 2 tablespoons Madras curry powder
- 2-4 tablespoons tamarind paste
- Salt, to taste
- For the sauce: Heat a large, heavy bottomed oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Add the duck fat and when it is sizzling hot, add the mustard seeds and curry leaves. Cook, stirring constantly until the mustard seeds begin to pop, about two minutes. Add the pepper and coconut milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add the curry powder and tamarind paste. Let the sauce simmer until the flavors are well blended, about 5 - 7 minutes. Season with salt (about half a teaspoon or more to taste). Set aside and keep warm while you prepare the duck. This is the pan in which you will place the duck to cook in the oven.
- Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- For the duck: Remove the duck breasts from the refrigerator a half hour before serving to come to room temperature. Lightly score the skin side of the duck breasts to allow better rendering of the fat. Season the duck breasts with generously with salt on both sides and allow the salt to penetrate for about ten minutes. Heat a heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add the duck breasts, skin side down, to the pan and once they are sizzling reduce the heat to medium-low and render the fat until it is well browned. Remove excess duck fat from the pan as it accumulates and reserve for another purpose, if desired. Once the breasts are fully rendered on the fat side, place the breasts skin side up in the sauce you have waiting. Place the skillet in the oven and let cook for ten minutes for medium and fifteen minutes for well done.
- Remove the breasts from the sauce and slice on the diagonal, against the grain. Serve one breast to each person with rice or freshly made naan as an accompaniment.