This is my idea of perfect dinner-party food: It’s easy to make, not complicated to serve, and looks — and tastes — exquisite.
Feel free to broil, pan griddle, or grill your duck rather than sear it on the stove, and then roast it, but I just find I make the air too smoky when it’s on the stove.
I advise asking a friend to come and help you slice the meat. Obviously, it’s not exactly hard work carving a duck breast, but so that the first slices aren’t cold by the time the last ones go on the serving platter, it makes sense to speed up the process. This is not a crucial consideration: It doesn’t actually matter what temperature these jeweled slivers of meat are.
- 4 duck breasts
- 8 cups arugula or watercress or salad chard or a mixture
- 1 pomegranate
- 1 small bunch fresh mint
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Heat a flameproof, ovenproof pan on the stove and then sear the duck breasts, skin side down, for a minute or so over high heat.
Turn the duck breasts over and then place in the oven for about 15 minutes.
Remove the duck breasts from the oven and let them sit on a carving board while you get organized. If you want to hold them at this stage, take them out of the oven at about 13 minutes and double-wrap in aluminum foil, then let them sit till you need them.
Line a meat plate or flattish platter with the salad leaves.
Slice each duck breast very thinly on the diagonal and lay on the salad-lined dish, pouring over any meat juices as you go.
Halve the pomegranate, and then bash out the seeds from one half to decorate the duck slices. Squeeze some of the juice — just by hand — from the other half over the duck as well.
Tear off a handful of mint leaves and then finely chop them, scattering over the duck.