Happy Memorial Day weekend! Grilling is synonymous with Memorial Day in my mind, so I was so happy to receive a Grilling Cookbook from Cooking Light a few days ago. The cookbook: Cooking Light Way to Cook Grilling: The Complete Visual Guide to Healthy Grilling is pretty darn snazzy. The photos are gorgeous, so um, please don’t compare my crummy photos for this recipe to the ones in the book, that will make me sad. Anyways, when I saw a recipe for grilled duck, I wanted to try it. I love duck, it’s a go-to for me at restaurants. But, I’m beyond terrified to cook it myself. It’s a tough meat to cook, and if overcooked, can be super crummy. Plus, it’s not exactly cheap! But grilling? I think I can handle that…
This recipe sounded like it was written just for me and my boyfriend. Before even opening the cookbook this was our conversation:
“We should try grilling a meat we’ve never made before, I’m not in the mood for a normal burger”
“Yeah, and maybe we can grill up some asparagus and mushrooms as well. I do want a meat as part of the meal though.”
We turn to this recipe, which managed to incorporate all of our requirements, and we were sold. The only thing we weren’t sold on? The marinating time. The original recipe suggested marinating the duck overnight, up to two days. We wanted duck, and we wanted it well before tomorrow, so our marinating was closer to 3 hours instead. There are also some pretty pricey ingredients in this dish, so this would definitely be a special occasion type of meal.
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 (6-ounce) boneless duck breast, skinned
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
- Cooking spray
- 3 cups thinly sliced shiitake mushroom caps (about 5 ounces)
- 2 cups thinly sliced portobello mushroom caps (about 5 ounces)
- 3/4 cup (1/4-inch) diagonally cut asparagus
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons truffle oil
Combine the rosemary, parsley, olive oil, duck breasts, and garlic cloves in a large plastic bag. Marinate in refrigerator for 3 hours, up to 2 days.
Slice your mushrooms and cut the asparagus.
Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Remove the duck from the bag and season the pieces with salt and pepper. Add to a grill rack coated with cooking spray.
Grill for 4 minutes on each side.
Remove duck from the grill, cover, and let stand for 10 minutes. (I added them to a plate and covered it with tin foil). After 10 minutes have passed, cut the duck across the grain into thin slices.
While waiting for the duck, heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Coat the pan with cooking spray and add the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes.
Add the asparagus and cook for 2 minutes.
Combine 1/8 teaspoon salt, Champagne vinegar, and truffle oil (I used white truffle oil). Stir with a whisk. Champagne vinegar is pricey, but it has a much more subtle flavor that most vinegars. If you’re looking for a more budget friendly version, you can use white wine or rice vinegar, but it won’t be nearly as mild in flavor.
To serve, add even amount of the mushroom mixture to 4 plates. Top with sliced duck breast and drizzle with about 1.5 teaspoons vinaigrette.
So, we managed to overcook the duck slightly. Most pieces were fine, a few were quite chewy. Ah well. The ones that were edible were so tasty, it was worth losing a few pieces in the process.
The meat was really tender and flavorful, so I can only imagine how wonderful this would taste after 1-2 days of marinating! The mushrooms and asparagus salad underneath was perfect as well. I loved the vinaigrette on top (even if I didn’t love the price!); a little goes a long way. It really enhanced the flavor of the overall dish.
Overall, I’d call this a win. I’m not as scared to cook duck. On the grill at least!