Cooking Duck Breast
Hi, I just attempted to pan sear duck breast for the second time and for some reason it continues to come out rather tough. On the first occasion I placed the duck breast in the heated pan skin side down for approximately 5 minutes, turned over for around 3 minutes and finished in my toaster oven at 350 for maybe another 5 minutes. I attained a wonderful crisped skin but the duck was tough and appeared to be overcooked. Realizing that most recipes call for cooking to rare or medium rare, I followed a youtube recipe from gordon ramsey. He placed the breast in an unheated pan skin side down (his thinking being that a hot pan would seal in fat and inhibit fat rendering) for around 4 minutes, turn over for around 2 minutes and into a 200 degree oven skin side down) for 6-8 minutes. Personally, i think the breast should be placed in the oven skin side up so as to maintain the crispness. I felt the skin had lost some crispness as a result of juices possibly coming down from the meat of the breast into the skin?
At any rate, the duck breast was indeed cooked to rare on the second occasion, but not any less tough. On both occasions I was able to attain a wonderful crisp skin, but the chewiness was just nasty. I always find it very frustrating when I don't understand the mechanics of where I go wrong while ruining a dish. If I understand where I went wrong and learn from it I have no problem. It's always when I think I did everything right and it still comes out like crap that frustrates me. Any insight regarding cooking a tender duck breast would be greatly appreciated, thanks...Paul.