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Here’s a bird larger than chicken although not limited when enjoyed, whether you roast or bake duck breast this tender juicy meat will have you drooling at the corners of your mouth. But before you do that, what if I showed you a whole variety of delicious sides to pair with your succulent duck breast? If you think that this scrumptious meat couldn’t possibly be enjoyed with anything else, then perhaps you’d like to try some sauces, or salad for a contrast in texture, a crunchy side of fresh cucumbers to compliment the warmth and juiciness of the duck breast, yum!
Table of Contents
- What Does Duck Taste Like?
- How Do You Make Duck?
- How To Roast a Duck?
- What Goes Good With Duck?
- So What Goes Well With Duck?
What Does Duck Taste Like?
Although one may assume the taste of duck is like chicken, because why not they’re both birds right? Unfortunately, that could not be more further from the truth, duck has flavours that are quite similar to red meat, with its strong rich flavours, that emanate once it’s cooked correctly. Duck is also much fattier, oozing moist juices when placed in a pan over high heat. The taste of duck meat has been closely compared to that of red meat steaks, and if that’s what they taste like, then you’re going to love the delectable sides that can be made to be eaten with it.
Duck is the perfect dish to serve at a family gathering or at a party, it reeks elegance when your guests find a tray of roast duck as opposed to some roast chicken slapped onto their plates. Duck breast is often served pink or rare, but it is advised to cook duck like you would cook chicken just to be safe. Ducks are quite a large bird so when you think of roasting this big chunk of meat, just remember that it’ll release a lot of fatty juices, so the large meat that you started with, will most definitely shrink in size once it has cooked.
How Do You Make Duck?
The best way to melt the fat out of the duck breast is to season it and leave it for a couple of hours, so that it sets at room temperature and the fat starts to leave the meat.
Pierce the skin of the duck breast in a criss cross pattern, so that you are exposing a lot of fat to the hot pan, and then put it skin-side down in a cold pan and let it slowly heat. This process will melt the fat first and then the skin will become crispy, but not burnt which is what we want.
Turn the duck breasts over and add some butter to the pan and let the meat soak up the buttery juices, and there you have your delicate duck breast ready to be devoured.
How To Roast a Duck?
A great centrepiece for any dinner table is a whole thick roasted duck. With juicy meat and rich flavours this particular bird can be paired with strong flavourings which is why it is so popular amongst Chinese cuisine.
Prick the skin of the whole duck with a toothpick or metal skewer, then season it all over with salt. Place it on a baking tray and roast it for 20 minutes plus 20 minutes per 500g, so if your duck weighs 2kg then the duck would take an hour and 40 minutes to roast.
Remove the duck from the oven and let it sit blanketed in tinfoil for at least 20 minutes before serving.
Serve this immaculate chunk of roast duck meat with your favourite salad, sauce, potato wedges or mashed potatoes.
What Goes Good With Duck?
Although roast duck or duck breast can taste amazing, and fill your stomach wonderfully when served alone, it’ll taste even better when you have a wide variety of sides to choose from, picking out the ones that will inevitably make your tongue tingle with hunger.
- Duck fat fries
- Balsamic Mushroom Spinach Salad
- Potato Wedges
- Smashed Potatoes
- Sweet Potato Fries
- Roasted Pepper Salad With Feta, Pine Nuts and Basil
- Roasted Vegetables
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Orange Sauce
- Sticky Marinated Duck Sauce
- Sweet Chilli Sauce
- Red Beet Salad
- Wild Rice Pilaf
Duck Fat Fries
When you think roast chicken, you’d automatically want to pair it with something that involves potatoes, like roast potatoes, potato wedges or fries. And for roast duck the same principle applies, there is that familiar urge to pair this wonderfully succulent meat with some potatoes, so why not try these duck fat fries?
For this side dish you’re going to need some frozen French fries, duck fat, and truffle salt. Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, and line a baking tray with foil. Place the frozen fries in a large bowl and lightly coat them with duck fat evenly.
Arrange the duck fat dripping fries on the baking tray, and bake for about 10 to 15 minutes, gently flipping them once to ensure that they are cooking evenly.
Remove them from the oven and sprinkle them with truffle salt; let them cool down for a bit, in the meantime start to lay your table with your cooked duck meat, whether it has been roasted or cooked as a steak.
Then serve with these brilliantly succulent duck fat fries, and let the flavours of potato heaven mixed with duck meat create magic.
Balsamic Mushroom Spinach Salad
For a family dinner consisting of rich meat like duck, this light and refreshing salad makes the perfect accompaniment to a hearty main meal.
Layered with baby spinach spilling out of the corners of the bowl, with clusters of soft chewy mushrooms, followed by a tangy balsamic dressing, this salad is a wonderfully nutritious side packed with loads of flavours with a crunchy texture that will contrast beautifully with the crispy meat, yum!
Here’s another type of potato to have with your immaculate dinner starring duck, a large tray of soft, fluffy and crisp potato wedges will compliment the meal perfectly.
Cut the potatoes into perfectly equal wedges, toss them in garlic, parmesan and olive oil, then spread them on a baking sheet and go listen to a few of your favourite songs, until they’re perfectly tender and ready to eat!
Need something to smash? Try making these smashed potatoes, not only are they the perfect accompaniment to have with any type of meat, they’re also brilliant for venting out your frustration on.
First cook your potatoes in salted boiling water until they’re soft, then drain them and let them chill in a colander for about 5 minutes or so.
Now for the fun part, place them on a large tray and start to mash them but make sure that they stay in one piece, then let them sit for another 5 minutes and drizzle them with butter, olive oil, and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.
Bake them for 45 minutes or until they’ve achieved their ultimate form – perfectly golden with a crisp exterior.
Serve these with your favourite meat dish, and let the delicious potatoes spark a little flame of delight within your bellies.
Sweet Potato Fries
Looking to cut carbs with your meat, then try these sweet potato fries, add a little sweetness to the rich and juicy flavours of the duck meat.
These crispy fries are easy to make, take the time to evenly cut your fries, this will ensure that they become equally nice and crispy.
Once the fries are cut, toss them into a large bowl, and cover the fries completely with cold water and let them soak for at least 30 minutes to help rid the potatoes of starch.
The secret ingredient that helps achieve the perfected crispiness of these sweet potatoes is corn starch. Whisk corn starch, garlic powder, smoked paprika and black pepper then toss them with the fries. Layer them evenly on a baking sheet, pop them in the oven and whilst they’re cooking flip them so that they become crisp all around.
Take a slice of duck meat and rip it off with your fork, add a sweet potato fry to that fork and take a large bite.
Roasted Pepper Salad with Feta, Pine Nuts and Basil
Though duck is delicious, it doesn’t appear quite as appealing as a pretty bowl of colourful salad. Roasted bell peppers accompanied by tangy olives, toasted pine nuts, rich feta, and fresh basil.
A wonderful combination of flavours and textures that’ll make your tongue sing!
There couldn’t be a roast without roasted vegetables, an essential side dish to have with a main meal packed with protein and a high content of fat, which is why this is a perfect balance for your belly, and a delicious accompaniment for your roasted duck.
Collect your favourite vegetables including carrots, onions, garlic, courgette, tomatoes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and anything else you desire that comes from the veggie category. Cut them into little cubes and sprinkle some herbs and spices onto the vegetables, add olive oil and stir them well before putting them into the oven for about 50 minutes.
Once they emerge from the oven, let them cool down for a couple of minutes then layer your plate with these delicious vegetables placing them beside your juicy roast duck.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
I know this particular vegetable will have most of us wrinkling our nose in distaste, but they can taste delicious, especially with rich, meaty meals like this one.
Packed with fibre and nutrients you might want to incorporate these little green balls of bitterness into most of your main meals. To make these delicious you can cook the sprouts in some duck fat, but shred them before cooking them so that they become more tender and soak up the duck fat juices perfectly.
Heat the duck fat in a small saucepan until it has melted, then grab a bowl and mix brussels sprouts, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and melted duck fat until the sprouts are evenly coated in the juices of the fat. Transfer the sprouts onto a baking sheet and bake till they’re wonderfully tender but still a little firm for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Squeeze a little fresh lemon juice over the cooked sprouts and let the delicious flavours work their way into your mouth – chew slowly – I promise it makes a lot of difference.
If you’re wondering what kind of sauce will go with your duck breast, try this healthy delectable orange sauce. This scrumptious sweet and sour sauce is made with all-natural ingredients like orange juice, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, red chilli flakes, sugar, ginger and zest.
Orange juice adds a little tangy, fresh and savoury taste to your rich duck breast a perfect balance to make it even more enjoyable.
Sticky Marinated Duck Sauce
An effective way to take your poultry down the soft and tender route is to make this sticky marinated duck sauce, adding delectable flavour to the crispy cooked duck.
Made by mixing balsamic vinegar, rapeseed oil, honey, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, grated lemon zest, and soy sauce together until they blend well. Paint this all over your duck and let it marinate in the fridge overnight.
Sweet Chilli Sauce
A truly satisfying vibrant red dip to have with your duck is this sweet chilli sauce, with contrasting bursts of flavours both sweet and spicy coming together to form a wonderful sauce for your rich meaty main dish.
Dip a chunk of your duck meat into the sauce and let the savoury flavours rotate around your mouth, till you eventually swallow and your belly can gurgle in appreciation.
Red Beet Salad
A stained plate of red beetroot is a must-have to go with your duck breast, boil these little beauties until they’re tender then chop them into small cubes. Chop some carrots and onions into cubes and dunk them in a large bowl and squeeze some mayonnaise over them, sprinkle with salt and pepper and enjoy this delectable side dish.
You can even break apart some pieces of the duck and add them to the salad bowl, for a braver approach to the contradicting flavours, it’ll be a beautiful mess don’t worry!
Wild Rice Pilaf
Rice is the kind of dish that just had to be added to the list, because of its soft and fluffy textures, it can absorb the natural juiciness of the duck meat meaning that you’re enjoying your meal and everyone’s happy!
So What Goes Well With Duck?
Duck meat is amazing because it has so much fat that seeps out of its flesh, and can be used in many ways to make a delectable marinating sauce, a coating for potato fries, and a delicious blanket for brussels sprouts. This way none of the duck goes to waste; you and your family are enjoying all the divine parts of the duck. Whether you choose to make a light salad to go with your rich and hearty meal of duck, or a classic tray of potato fries, the contrast of flavors will inevitably take you to heaven and back again.