I am still learning some tricks from the French cuisine. It’s just amazing! Now I’m gone give you some classics mixed with something new. Firstly, the French brown sauce is something classic which is quite essential for all the lovely meat such as duck beef, lamb, goose and turkey. It’s quite time taking to make it but when you make quite a lot, then you can always use it for other dishes as well or just freeze it.
Secondly, a New twist for the quinoa! The idea to cook the quinoa in a bouillon came on my mind while I was doing French risotto (pilaf, pilau or just French method for braised rice). Why not use the same technique for quinoa as well? Instead of usual boring quinoa, there is a little bit different way for cooking quinoa! Then I added some green peas which is a classic combination for duck and it always works.
What about the duck breast? Cooking the duck is something that many people are afraid because nobody wants to overcook or undercook the duck. I agree, it might be a little bit tricky. There isn’t a lot of fat inside the duck and because of that it might dry out quite quickly. However, usually there’s always the skin on top of the duck which makes it a lot of easier! But the skin should be crispy! Otherwise you don’t want to eat it. So, right temperature and some technique is always helpful to get that crispy skin and medium rare duck.
Duck Breast with Quinoa & French Brown Sauce
Serve for 3-4
French brown sauce:
- 1 small diced onion
- 1 chopped carrot
- some meat leftovers such as bones, meat trimmings, raw or cooked (optional, just to get the taste)
- 3 tbsp beef or duck fat or leftover bacon fat
- 25 g plain flour (or 35 g rice flour)
- 750 ml beef bouillon
- 140 ml dry red wine
- herb bouquet (I used some bay leaves and thyme branches from the freezer)
- 2, 5 dl quinoa
- 5 dl beef bouillon
- 1 glove minced garlic
- 1 dl fresh or frozen green peas
- 1 tbsp chopped spring onions
For duck breast:
- 2 duck breasts
- salt, pepper
- Firstly, start with the sauce. Brown the vegetables and leftover meat in the fat. Add flour and heat it until it goes to paste (it shouldn’t go brown). Keep stirring. Beat in the bouillon and wine. Mix until combined. Add herbs. Let the sauce simmer until it goes thicker and there isn’t any flour taste (it usually takes about 1,5-2 hours).* Have a taste and correct seasoning. Strain the sauce and leave the herbs, onions and meat behind.
- For quinoa, simmer the quinoa in bouillon for about 15 minutes until ready (medium-low heat). Don’t stir while cooking.
- Preheat the oven 210° C/ 410° F.
- While the quinoa is cooking, start with the duck breast. Gently crosshatch the duck breast skin’s top layer with sharp knife (try not to cut the flesh). Season the breast with salt and pepper. Make sure that you put quite a lot of salt on top of the skin!
- Place the duck skin side down on a cold frying pan. ** Wait until it has enough colour and the fats come out. Turn the duck breast and have some colour on the other side as well.
- Place the duck skin side down into the preheated oven and cook for 6-7 minutes until the duck breast is medium rare.
- Take the duck out of the oven and let it rest on the chopping board at least 5 minutes or more. Slice thin slices.
- While the duck is resting. Prepare the quinoa salad. Place the garlic and peas into the frying pan (use the same duck fat which is left from the duck). Add quinoa and correct seasoning. Add spring onions.
- Serve the duck with quinoa and brown sauce.
* Don’t worry you don’t have to stand there. Let it simmer on low heat and stir sometimes. Also, you can always make some sauce for other dishes as well. Also, you can even freeze the sauce and use it for beef, lamb, goose and turkey.
**It’s better to use the frying pan, which can go to the oven as well or just preheat the oven pan in the oven and use a regular frying pan (it’s just important that the pan is hot when it goes into the oven). It’s better when the frying pan is cold at first because then the skin can go extra crispy.