Duck with Chimichurri sauce


Boy, it’s been a while. Over a year in fact. I’m in grad school. This is hugely self indulgent. But what the hell. Duck. I love duck. I had a copy of Ferran Adria’s cookbook (of El Bulli fame), The Family Meal, a while ago. No more. I remember being in love with the look of the book, the way it was laid out, the pictures, the simple ideas behind the pairings. Many of the recipes were total flops. The proportions, brought to an American audience, were miscalculated from grams or cups or ounces or whatever. This recipe was one of the successes. But why shouldn’t it be. Duck, don’t overcook it, use salt, and you’re good. This meal makes me really nostalgic for Brooklyn and the days when I had a dozen markets within a block of my apartment. *sigh*.

Duck with Chimichurri


  • 1 duck breast
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 1 lemon
  • Olive oil
  • ground cumin
  • sherry or red wine vinegar
  • 1 roma tomato
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • pinch of red chili flakes
  • paprika
  • dried oregano
  • salt to taste
  • dried thyme


To make the chimichurri, chop parsley, tomatoes, onions and garlic. Combine with a pinch of oregano, paprika, thyme, chili flakes, cumin, zest of a lemon, and lemon juice, about a cup (250 grams) of olive oil, roughly the same portion of water, and half a cup of vinegar, salt to taste and pulse in a food processor or blender.

For the duck, make sure it’s out of the fridge, come to room temperature before cooking. Pat dry. Using a sharp knife, score the surface of the duck fat in a cross-hatch pattern. Salt well on both sides, and let it sit again for a few minutes before cooking.

Heat a pan, nonstick or using a little bit of duck fat or other oil, but not to much. Add the duck breast fat/skin side down. For a small duck breast you need about 2 minutes for rare, 3-5 for a medium sized one. Turn the duck over and brown another 1-2 minutes, 3 for medium, or 5 for a large one. Then remove from heat and let sit about 5 minutes, just like a proper steak. Cut the duck breast from the short end to ensure more slices with have a piece of the center of the meat (where it’s juiciest/most rare). Splay the slices of meat on a platter and drizzle with chimichurri sauce to serve.