This is my step-by-step, 3-ingredient recipe for Crispy Paleo Duck Magret.
I’ll tell you all about “magret” (a French duck breast that you ought to know!) but before I do that, let’s get real. You see…
I’m sick and tired of hard-to-follow recipes with an endless list of ingredients. Even though I am a classically trained French chef, I have a family to feed every night and here is what I’m NOT going to do:
- Spend 1 hour at the grocery store.
- Worry about whether or not I can find all the ingredients in a given recipe.
- Spend more than 30 minutes in the kitchen.
- Spend more than 10 minutes cleaning up.
And this my friends is why most of my recipes have less than 6 ingredients. And this Crispy Paleo Duck Magret has… wait for it… 3 ingredients. Duck breast (or magret), red cabbage, and watercress (or any kind of greens). I’m not counting salt, pepper and extra-virgin olive, which I’m sure you already have in your kitchen.
A PALEO RECIPE WITH 3 INGREDIENTS
Yes it’s true. Duck, red cabbage, and watercress.
WHAT IS DUCK MAGRET ANYWAY?
Duck magret is duck breast. Pure and simple. However, look at the photos below and notice how meaty and red meat red it is. A “normal” duck breast is much, much paler than this. This duck meat looks more like a steak.
This is because this duck breast comes from a different breed of duck, called “Moulard”. Moulard ducks are very popular in France and they are raised with a special, wholesome diet which contributes to an awesome meat texture and taste.
And boy, does this taste good. One of the things that taste good is that duck magret has extra fat – the good kind of fat; actually mostly mono-unsaturated fat like olive oil, which actually has been known to fuel one of the healthiest populations in the world… the people of SouthWest France. More on the fat later…
WHERE DO YOU GET DUCK MAGRET
Glad you asked. There is this online retailer called Dartagnan. Order today before noon and you’ll get your magret tomorrow morning at your door. It’s that simple.
I know the owner very well, chef Ariane Daguin, a native of France like me and a lover of fine foods, also like me.
DUCK MAGRET : THE OTHER RED MEAT
I mentioned earlier that this duck breast/magret has a different texture, color and taste. It feels, look, and taste more like a steak. So in this recipe, believe it or not, we’ll flash sear the meat (with a delicious crispy skin!) and I encourage you to leave the meat medium-rare to medium. The French actually barely cook it and leave it extra rare.
If you take a look at the photo of me in our kitchen (I work for, cook for, and am married to Dr. Carissa, it really looks like I’m holding a steak, and not a duck breast. I mean, this is bright red and huuuuuge; normal duck breasts are usually much smaller.
STEP-BY-STEP PALEO DUCK MAGRET RECIPE
So follow me closely as I walk you through this 3-ingredient recipe! 🙄 😂 The 3 ingredients are duck magret, red cabbage, and watercress.
The first thing I’m going to do is unwrap the Dartagnan duck magrets and use a sharp knife to slice into the thick layer of fat. In such a way that I criss-cross the fat as shown below. This is important because first, it will help melt the delicious fat (you will keep the extra rendered fat like you do with bacon, at least if you are a legit Paleo enthusiast like Dr. Carissa and myself). Second, that thick layer of fat is like an insulator if you will. You can sear that fat all you want, the heat won’t penetrate deep enough to reach the meat. And you want it to reach the meat.
I’m also going to salt and pepper them profusely. Both side. Fat side and meat side. Don’t be afraid. Beginner cooks often underseason meat. Don’t underseason meat.
Now it’s time to have fun with magret. You see, searing (pan-frying, if you will!) duck magret is one of the most fun things you will ever do in cooking.
Here is why…
SEARING THE DUCK MAGRET
First, I recommend searing in a cast-iron skillet. Cast iron is just the best pan to sear stuff in. Heat repartition is great with cast iron. No cold spot. A ‘deep’ sear. It’s fantastic. Every Paleo enthusiast should own one. Plus, it’s a cheap pan to own and you can keep it forever.
Now listen to me…
To sear meat, you need a hot pan. Medium high heat and wait for the skillet to be super hot. You don’t want it to be smoking hot, but you want to make sure as you place the duck (fat side down) you get a “pppsssssshhhhhh” noise. Otherwise it’s not searing and the meat is going to boil and not sear. You won’t have a crispy skin. You want a crispy skin.
As you can see in the photo above, you place the duck (fat side down) in the cast iron skillet, and you wait without moving the duck around, until you get a golden brown crust underneath. That’s probably going to happen in 3 to 5 minutes if your skillet is hot and your heat powerful. More if not.
Once the fat is golden brown and crispy (and delicious!) it’s time to flip the magret. Now the duck is meat side down and you’ll wait about 3 to 5 minutes for that side to sear to a golden brown crust.
CONTROLLING THE HEAT TO A GOLDEN BROWN CRUST
The most important here is to control the heat. Medium high I said, but ever stove, every pan, every cook is different. Cook with your senses. Look, smell, and taste. Once you have that coveted golden brown crust, it’s time to flip the duck. Be attentive.
If you are attentive, chances are you will get the most beautiful result. Look at the photo below. Who can resist this?
This is a beautiful duck magret from Dartagnan that has been seared to perfection. The perfect Golden Brown Crust.
THE PERFECT TEMPERATURE TO COOK DUCK MAGRET
As discussed the French like it rare. But I recommend medium-rare to medium. Cooking the duck about 5 minutes on each side at a medium-high heat will give you a perfect medium-rare to medium.
BONUS: here is the secret!… Rest the meat half the time that it has cooked!
Once the duck breast is seared 5 minutes on each side, you should NOT slice it or serve it. No, no, no…
You MUST rest the duck half the time that it has cooked. In this case, if you cooked your duck 5 minutes on each side (that’s 10 minutes), then you should rest it at least 5 minutes. Or more. Just set it on a cutting board, maybe cover it with aluminum foil, and wait.
That’s what I’m doing in this photo. I’m just waiting for the duck to rest. You know why?.. Because that way, the meat gets a chance to rehydrate (the violent heat from searing pushes the moisture inside the meat at the center, and dries out the rest) from the inside out. When you rest, the juices at the center slowly move from the center to the entirety of the meat.
This is the difference between a dry steak (or duck) and a moist steak. Everybody wants a moist steak. Nobody ever wishes they get a dry steak.
SAUTEED RED CABBAGE (YES, IT’S DELICIOUS!)
Now of course while the meat rests, I’m going to get moving. This is time to saute’ the red cabbage. For that, I empty half of the duck fat into a bowl for later use. Rendered duck fat is much better and much healthier than bacon fat. Keep the fat.
Then I keep the skillet on medium high with half of the fat. Once it’s nice and hot, I saute’ the red cabbage. Just the duck fat, salt and pepper, and the red cabbage is going to change in taste and become so delicious.
You see, sautéed red cabbage is popular in some game recipes in France. It goes perfect with seared duck magret and this Paleo Duck Magret Recipe.
Note that you don’t need to cook the cabbage more than a few minutes. Just give it a few turns in the hot skillet and it’s ready.
Back to the cutting board area…
It’s time to take care of the last ingredient: watercress.
All I have to do is to make a simple vinaigrette (takes 30 seconds) and toss the watercress in it. I told ya I like simple!
SLICING THE DUCK MAGRET
You would have noticed that the magret is still resting on my cutting board. That’s important. Rest the duck.
Sauteeing the red cabbage, making my salad dressing, and tossing the watercress in it probably took me 8 to 10 minutes. Perfect resting time and now it’s time to slice the duck magret from Dartagnan.com.
So just take a sharp knife and slice the rested duck magret like in the photo. Notice how this is a perfect medium-rare. Also notice how the meat really is red and looks like steak. This could almost be mistaken for a medium rare New-York Strip Loin, except of course for the delicious golden brown crispy duck skin! Which is absolutely delicious!
PLATING THIS PALEO DUCK MAGRET RECIPE
This recipe is complete. Time to plate. I put a mound of red cabbage, top it with a few slices (a duck magret typically serves 1 hungry person or 2 persons).
This was the step-by-step Paleo Duck Magret Recipe with Sauteed Red Cabbage and Watercress. A 3-ingredient, 30-minute recipe that is easy to make and perfect for Paleo enthusiasts. Especially if you’re trying to lose weight.
The recipe card is below.
So remember… Make sure you comment underneath to tell Dr. Carissa and I how you like this, or if you have any questions.
Crispy Paleo Duck Magret
This is my step-by-step, 3-ingredient recipe for Crispy Paleo Duck Magret.
- duck breast
- red cabbage
- watercress (or any kind of greens)
1. Unwrap the Dartagnan duck magrets and use a sharp knife to slice into the thick layer of fat.
2. Salt and pepper them profusely. Both side. Fat side and meat side.
3. Sear the duck magret in a medium-high heat (wait for the skillet to be super hot). 5 minutes on each side.
4. Rest the duck half the time that it has cooked.
5. While the meat rests, saute’ the red cabbage on medium-high with half of the duck fat, add salt and pepper.
6. Make a simple vinaigrette and toss the watercress in it.
7. Slice the rested duck magret and put it in a mound of red cabbage, then serve.