If history is a guide to the future, then when I see duck on a restaurant menu, I order it. Invariably, the same approach works for duck on the grill. If I see at the grocery, I buy it. Unfortunately, I don't always see duck unless I'm hunting it out...no pun intended.
When my friends at Duckchar reached out and asked if I would be willing to try their product, you have a pretty good idea of my answer.
DUCKCHAR was founded with one tough objective in mind: to cultivate an American love for duck products by offering accessible, high quality goods that not only taste great, but also fit the lifestyle of Americans who prefer simple to prepare & cook, hearty meats ready to be grilled for a BBQ or pan seared at a moment's notice.
It's hard to argue with that.
I firmly believe if grillers had access to duck, more would grill it. Admittedly, when rattling off a menu of grilled delights, duck isn't usually nestled between ribs and burgers. However, steak often is and in my opinion Duckchar duck breasts are essentially an awesome medium-rare steak.
Unlike their land-loving friends the chickens, duck breast meat, thanks to a higher level of myoglobin and the fact ducks actually fly, is a red meat and can be grilled to medium rare.
Duckchar uses a Moulard duck, which is a hybrid between the Pekin and the Muscovy. Each breast is almost a pound. They are literally steaks, and I haven't even mentioned their best attribute yet, the fat...that glorious layer of fat.
Traditional duck recipes are typically not over an open flame, and while I've grilled duck before on the grill and in a skillet, I've come to the conclusion Duckchar duck breasts are best suited for the reverse sear. By bringing the duck slowly up to temperature, the fat has more time to render. The final touch of direct heat is going to bring some flames, but nowhere near as much as a traditional direct cook. The reverse sear, especially with duck, is the best of both worlds.
Since this is more process than recipe, I'm going to talk process, not ingredients.
First, you need a Duckhar duck breast...or two.
Using a sharp knife, score the fat cap on the breast. Be careful not to slice into the meat. Season with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Lightly brush with extra-virgin olive oil.
Prepare the grill for indirect medium-low heat (200 - 250°F). On a Weber Grills kettle, use a chimney half-full of briquettes and then close the bottom and top vents to maintain temperature.
Grill the duck breast over indirect medium-low heat until the internal temperature reads 120°F with an instant-read thermometer, approximately 20 minutes.
Remove from the grill and allow to rest.
Since the indirect cook was low, open up all of the vents and allow time to bring the temperature of the grill up.
Grill the duck breast over medium-high heat (350 - 400°F) for one minute a side. Remove from the grill, rest, and serve.
I am a fan of Duckchar. While duck isn't cheap, it is incredibly worth it. Plus, leftovers means duck tacos. It's like winning. Twice.
If you are looking to introduce something new to the grill, I highly recommend giving Duckchar a try.
Note: Duckchar provided me with samples for this post. The opinions expressed, no matter how crazy you must think they are, are my own. I only review products I care about.