Cindy Thomas, August 31, 2015
The first time I remember having duck for dinner was in Burgundy, France. My husband and I were on our honeymoon and biking through the french countryside. After a lovely day of visiting vineyards we walked to a country inn and had an incredible meal of duck breast. While I love to order duck at a restaurant, I had never tried making it at home for fear of being disappointed in the results.
I was lucky enough to find a neighbor who was willing to give my some dried grapevines from his garden. This recipe from Mimi Thorisson begins by lighting the grapevines in a grill and allowing them to smoulder. I have a gas grill, so I heated the vines in an aluminum pan on one side of the grill until they were producing smoke. The duck breasts are seasoned with salt and pepper and then precooked in a pan over medium low heat.
This allows for duck fat to be rendered and set aside for later use. Next the duck is transferred to the grill to finish cooking. The grapevines were nice and smoky for the grilling and added wonderful flavor to the meat. I was a bit impatient (aka hungry!), and didn’t wait as long as I could have for the smoke to develop. Next time I will give it more time.
I learned two wonderful things from this recipe: 1. Duck fat is amazingly flavorful to cook with. 2. Grilling duck at home is pretty easy and REALLY delicious!!
I was lucky to have my dear friend Laura in town to help me prepare and eat this beautiful meal. We were really pleased with the results. My whole family loved it. We made some smashed red potatoes with fresh chives and steamed spinach to accompany our duck dish.I am looking forward to making this recipe again soon….like tomorrow night!
I’m not able to share this recipe here, but it can be found in Mimi Thorisson’s cookbook: A Kitchen in France
If you’re interested in joining the Weekend in a French Kitchen group or just want to see how the other members of the group fared with this recipe check out this link: WIFK