Today I cooked magrets de canard (duck breasts) served with peaches and a delicious potato cake. It took me 30 minutes to make, (perhaps 10 minutes more for the potato peeling and chopping). This is such a ‘gourmet’ lunch, with amazing flavors mixed together. When cooking duck breast, you must be slightly patient – it takes about 20-25 minutes altogether on a moderate heat, and it is very important to drain the duck fat every 5 minutes or the skin of the duck will burn. You want the skin to be perfectly crispy. Duck breasts have a lot of fat and melts fast. Good fat of course – duck fat is healthy for you! The parsley and garlic potato cake is inspired from good times at L’Ami Louis (32 Rue Vertbois, 75003 Paris), one of my favourite restaurants in Paris. L’Ami Louis is legendary for its gargantuan portions of amazing French food served with the finest old Parisian charm. I love going there, especially on Sunday nights, and have a feast. Amongst their superb menu, one dish stands out to my taste, and it’s the galette de pomme de terre (potato cake). This side dish is served with almost anything, topped with a huge amount of parsley and garlic. Pure pleasure.
Ingredients (for 2)
2 large duck breasts
2 peaches (peeled and sliced)
5 large potatoes
6 garlic cloves (sliced fine)
2 handfuls of chopped parsley
1 tbsp butter
Salt & Pepper
Pre-heat the oven on 180° celsius.
Just before you start cooking the duck, start frying on a medium heat the sliced potatoes with one tbsp butter for 8 minutes. Set aside.
In a large cool frying pan, place your 2 duck breasts skin touching the base. Switch on the heat to moderate and start frying. Every 5 minutes or so, when the duck fat melts, pour in a bowl, reserve the fat, and continue frying. Too much oil will make your duck skin burn.
Pour 8 tbps (or more if you wish and according to your taste) of the reserved duck fat onto the potatoes and continue frying till cooked and golden. You’d be surprised at how fast it cooks with duck fat. Flip potatoes constantly. Add salt. By 20-25 minutes they should be cooked. Put potatoes in a small cake mold and press gently with a potato masher or a large spoon so the potatoes take a good shape. You don’t want to mash the potatoes, just press them. Place in the oven for 5-8 minutes.
After 20-25 minutes of duck frying, flip over the breasts and cook maximum 5 minutes depending on how you like your ‘cuisson’ (2 mins if you like the breast rosé/pink). Meanwhile you can fry the garlic in a tsp of duck fat until golden and the sliced peach for 3 minutes. They can be fried in the same pan.
Take the potato cake out of the oven, remove from mold and place on a serving plate. Put the chopped parsley and fried garlic on top. Slice the duck breast (see photo), season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.