This dinner comes together pretty effortlessly. Score and salt the duck first. Then prep and roast the potatoes. While those roast, start cooking the duck. By the time the potatoes are done the
duck will be ready to slice and serve.
Duck breast meat always has a pink tinge so go by temperature not by the color to ensure it is cooked properly.
Save the duck fat rendered from the breast to roast potatoes in the future or to fry eggs.
It's super delicious and flavorful.
For the potatoes and garlic:
1 pound fingerling potatoes
8 cloves garlic, unpeeled
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
For the duck:
2 breasts, each about 10-11 ounces
Preheat the oven to 400º.
Tightly score the duck skin with a sharp knife, making sure not to cut into the flesh. You want diagonal lines one way, all across the surface of the skin, about 1/4 " apart. Then diagonal lines the other way, 1/4" apart to create a crosshatch over the skin but not the flesh. This helps the fat render and the skin to get a little crispy. Salt the breasts with Kosher salt. Salt heavily on the skin side and lightly on the meat side. Refrigerate the duck breasts again. Rinse the potatoes, pat them dry, slice them in half lengthwise, and place them in a large bowl. Add the unpeeled garlic cloves into the bowl. Toss the potatoes and the unpeeled garlic cloves with a few generous glugs of olive oil (about 4 Tablespoons), and sprinkle everything generously with kosher salt (about 1+1/2 teaspoons). Toss everything with clean hands to ensure everything gets nicely coated in oil and salt.
Place the potato slices evenly in a large roasting pan or cookie sheet. Place a four sprigs of thyme over them and bake them for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium-sized, oven-proof frying pan place the duck breasts, skin side down, straight from the fridge onto a cold pan, and turn the heat to medium. After 1 minute lower the heat to medium low and cook the breasts for 14 minutes. You want to reach an internal temperature of 125º.
While the duck is cooking, carefully take the pan with the potatoes out of the oven and flip everything with a spatula and return to the oven. Bake until the potatoes are golden brown. The exact time will depend on your oven and the size of the potatoes. Start checking after 10 minutes but it make take up to 20.
Meanwhile, once the duck has reached and internal temp of 125º, flip the breasts, raise the heat to medium, and cook for 1 minute. Turn the stove off. Carefully pour and save the duck fat for future use. Place the pan with the duck in the oven for 4 minutes for medium rare and 6 for medium.
Remove the duck from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing.