Duck is something a lot of people just order at restaurants, because they're intimidated by the thought of trying to make it at home.
But Flay demystified the process and proved that's not so!
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, "Duck and goose are poultry and considered "white" meat. Because they are birds of flight, however, the breast meat is much darker than chicken and turkey breast. This is because more oxygen is needed by muscles doing work, and the oxygen is delivered to those muscles by the red cells in the blood. One of the proteins in meat, myoglobin, holds the oxygen in the muscle, and gives the meat a darker color. ... Chickens and turkeys stand a lot but do little if any flying, so their breast meat is white and leg meat, dark. Game birds, however, spend time flying, so their breast meat may be as dark as leg meat."
As a result, duck has a much stronger flavor than chicken, Flay says. It's rich and gamey.
Flay used boneless duck breast on the show, but you can also buy it bone-in.
Duck isn't too expensive. It sells for about $10 a pound.
Because ducks are swimmers, they have a fat layer beneath the skin that keeps them buoyant. The fat isn't "marbled" into the meat, so it can easily be removed if you choose. Flay does trim some fat from the bird; the rendered fat is what becomes crispy and delicious when you cook the meat.
When you prepare the grill for this recipe, Flay suggests setting a drip pan that's partially filled with water on top of the coals: Because duck does have so much fat, it will drip off during cooking; if you don't have a pan, it will only catch on fire and burn your meat.
Start the duck out over lower heat, so the fat doesn't render too quickly.
Flay cooks his duck medium or medium-rare; unlike other poultry, there isn't a huge risk of salmonella in duck.
Father's Day Duck
Grilled Duck Breast with Mustard Mint Sauce
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup whole grain mustard
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 duck breasts, extra fat trimmed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Whisk together the mustard, horseradish, mint and salt and pepper in a small bowl, cover and let sit at room temperature while you cook the duck.
2. Heat grill to medium. Season duck on both sides with salt and pepper. Place a drip pan on top of the coals and fill halfway with water. Place the breasts on the grill, over the pan, skin-side down and grill until golden brown and lots of the fat has rendered, about 8-10 minutes. Flip over and continue grilling until cooked to medium doneness. Remove from the grill and let rest 5 minutes. Cut on the diagonal into 1/2-inch thick slices. Drizzle with some of the mustard sauce.
Red Cabbage & Grilled Yukon Gold Potato Salad
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed
Salt and pepper
1/2 pound bacon, cut into lardon
1 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
1 large head red cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1. Heat the grill. Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until just tender, about 25 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly. Slice the potatoes into 1/2-inch thick slices. Brush both sides with oil and season with salt and pepper and grill on both sides until golden brown. Remove to a plate.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large high sided sauté pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until golden brown and crisp and the fat has rendered. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels. Increase the heat to high, add the vinegar to the pan and bring to a simmer. Add the honey and thyme and cook for 1 minute.
3. Place cabbage in a large, non-reactive bowl. Pour the warm vinegar mixture over the cabbage and stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes at room temperature.
4. Place potatoes on plate. Spoon cabbage over top, and sprinkle bacon around all.