Summer Sizzle – Saison Duck Breast
Duck Saison! Wabbit Saison! Duck Saison! Wabbit Saison! Wabbit Saison! Duck Saison, FIRE!
Summer Saison, I mean SEASON, is what it is and a hot one at that. This summer there seem to be more saison style craft beers on the market than ever before.Wanting to make sure I wasn’t imagining things I decided to ask via Twitter if this was true. The responses all agreed and added it was “…the IPA of 2011″ amongst other things.
With Saison’s availability and nice range of prices I decided it would be a good inspiration for a recipe. The flavor includes a lot of citrus fruit with a peppery finish. Wanting something to be enhanced but not dominated by the flavor and I decided to go with duck. I also didn’t want to turn on the oven in this heat so roasting wasn’t going to happen. Duck breast on the grill it would be, marinated with a wet rub and served with a saison pineapple sauce. Add grilled baby bok choy and a butter bean salad, you’ve got dinner.
Saison Duck Breast- serves 2
- Duck Breast – 2 individual breasts (mine came as one piece with the 2 breasts)
- Salt – 4 Tbl kosher or sea salt
- Brown Sugar -4 Tbl
- Black Pepper -1/2 tsp
- Saison Ale -1 22oz bottle or 2 12oz (will be used both to season and in the sauce)
- Olive oil -as needed
Saison Pineapple Sauce
- Saison Ale -12 oz
- Shallot -1 clove sliced thin
- Pineapple Preserves – 1/4 cup
- salt & pepper -to taste ( a little cayenne pepper would be nice to include if you like a little spice)
Two to four hours before cooking: If your duck came in a sealed bag remove, rinse well and pat it as dry as possible. Keeping the skin dry will help to keep it from getting soggy. I score the skin too by gently running a sharp knife across it at half-inch intervals and perpendicular to each other.
Undesirable sogginess is why I decided on a wet rub instead of a usual marinade. Actually I’m not sure if it’s a wet rub or a dry brine, it’s getting rinsed off so maybe it’s the latter. Either way you mix the salt, sugar and pepper together in a bowl then add a drizzle of the beer at a time until a paste is achieved. Rub that all over the duck and allow to marinate/brine in the refrigerator 1 to 2 or more hours.
30 minutes before grilling rinse off the seasoning, pat them very dry and allow to sit uncovered. The grill needs to be nice and hot, 400 deg or more and a be sure to rub a little bit of olive oil on the meaty side of the breast, this will help to achieve a good sear. Grill 2-3 minutes, meat side down then turn 45 degrees (still meat side down) and cook until you hit 135 deg – 140 deg in the middle of the breast. At this point place the breasts off of direct heat, allowing them to continue to cook and reach the desired internal temperature. As the breast cooks it renders the fat from under the skin keeping the meat moist. But dripping fat over direct flame will create an amazing yellow flame up in your grill, so be warned. For more cooking with duck tips check out http://www.mapleleaffarms.com/48
The sauce can be made while the duck is cooking. Simply reduce the remaining saison ale by half in a 2 – 3 quart pot. Add the sliced shallots and continue to cook until they are soft and translucent, the ale will be reduced even more. Turn off the heat and stir in the pineapple preserves well to allow it to melt plus remove all the clumps. With a little salt and pepper the sauce is done.