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Duck Breasts: How to get fat layer crispy?

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Duck Breasts: How to get fat layer crispy?

sweet100s | | Oct 5, 2007 03:39 PM

When you cook duck breasts, how do you get the fat layer on top crispy?

My grocery store now carries incredibly good duck breasts cryovac'd 4 to a package. I buy 2 packages, cook all 8, and vacuum-pack all the extras.

I cook them:
- In my Big Green Egg http://www.biggreenegg.com/
- Indirect, with a cast iron skillet (for 4) or cast iron pizza pan (for 8) underneath to catch the duck fat drippings and prevent flare-ups
- at 375 degrees F
- till the Thermopen reads 145 degrees F

First time: Fat side up, another cast iron skillet on top of the fat, meat side down. The skin got nice and crispy. (used a skillet on top of the fat because the recipe called for foil-wrapped bricks on top

)

Last night: Fat side down, nothing on top. The meat was *perfectly* cooked, really delicious, but the fat on top was still undone.

I was OK with that becuase I was cooking them all in advance to have for breakfast for relatives coming in this weekend. Am going to try a "Fried Poached Egg with Smoked Duck Breast" recipe. (yes, you actually poach the egg, bread it w/ Panko bread crumbs, and then fry it!) I'll remove the fat layer before I slice the duck for breakfast.

Questions:

1) When you cook duck breasts, how do you get the fat layer on top crispy? (whether in oven, or skillet, or grill)

2) What should I do with the extra duck fat?

I sprinkled a healthy amount of John Henry Cherry Chipotle rub on it, so the fat layer is lots spicier than I thought it would be! (but it definitely made the meat taste incredible!)

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