The first time I tried to cook duck on my George Foreman Grill it did not go as planned. There was a lot of smoke and more fat drippings than I could keep up with for the small tray. I was determined to try it again because it seems the perfect vehicle for cooking duck that has crispy skin.
There are two preparations that I experimented with on the Foreman Grill. The first recipe is for easy grilled duck breast that requires very little prep time. However, you do need to babysit the meat while it is cooking. Duck breast is finicky. It is best served rare with a crispy fat cap. It is really easy to overcook it and dry it out. That is what I did the first time I tried to grill it. I will walk you through how to do this correctly. The key is to keep the portions small so as to avoid too much fat dripping into the tray and to have a well ventilated work space.
The second recipe is for grilling confit duck legs. Confit is a method of preparing duck that can actually preserve the meat for several days to even weeks. It involves brining the duck for approximately 24 hours. Then, it is braised at medium-low heat in a whole lot of duck fat. The completed duck can be stored in the refrigerator and then seared to crisp the skin and warm the meat through. It sounds lethally unhealthy, but most of the fat in the legs just cooks out. You simply discard the cooking fat, or save it for another use, such as oiling your GF grill plates. It is pretty tasty.
You can buy confit duck legs from specialty butchers and farms. They are vacuum sealed in plastic and can stay in the refrigerator for a very long time. Duck leg meat is quite rich, so you just need to sear small portions on your grill whenever you want some upscale protein with your meal. To be sure, buying prepared confit duck legs is a little pricy.
I found a recipe for making confit duck at home that is much less labor intensive and easier on the wallet. I adapted the recipe so that the legs can be finished off on the Foreman Grill. If you are feeling adventurous, try making your own confit duck. Not feeling adventurous? Just buy the prepared duck and grill it to get that golden crispy skin.
Easy Grilled Duck Breast
This recipe is very quick, so make your sides in advance. I recommend Muscovy duck because the meat is lean and lends itself nicely to cooking on the GF contact grill. I am a fan of serving duck breast with a slightly sweet salad of red beets, cucumbers, and avocado. It is also delicious with some garlicky wilted greens, such as escarole or spinach.
You can double the recipe to serve more people. If you do that, be sure to cook the breasts one at a time and empty the drip tray before cooking the second breast.
- 1 whole Muscovy duck breast, approximately 3/4 to 1 pound
- Salt and pepper
- Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
Total time:12 min – Prep time:5 min – Cook time:7 min – Serves:2 people
1. Set up a cooking area that is well ventilated, such as placing your contact grill on the (cold) stovetop just beneath the exhaust vent hood. Turn on the fan to high. If that isn’t convenient, try grilling on a deck, terrace, or near an open kitchen window. Put your tray in place with paper towels under it to catch any overflow. Plug in the GF grill and heat it to high.
2. While the grill is heating up, score the fat of the duck breast about every 3/4 inch in two directions with a very sharp knife. Basically, you are making a diamond pattern. Cut through the fat but not through the flesh. Season both sides with a slight coating of salt and pepper. The salt helps to render the fat. Brush the flesh side with EVOO.
3. Place the breast, fat side up, on the grill and close the top. Grill for approximately 7 minutes until the internal temperature reads 135°F to 140°F and the fat is seared and slightly crispy. Remove the duck breast to a clean cutting board and allow it to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing. This step is very important because duck meat is so lean. Save the collected drippings in a glass jar to use for oiling your grill with other recipes. It will keep in the fridge for a long time. Clean the hot grill while the duck is resting.
4. Prepare your plates with sides. Slice the duck thinly and serve immediately. The duck should be pink and juicy in the middle.
Confit Duck Legs Finished on a Foreman Grill
If you are grilling already prepared confit legs, proceed to step 4 of the directions. It couldn’t be easier and is always a crowd pleaser. Feel free to double this recipe.
- 4 fatty whole duck legs
- 1-1/2 tsps kosher salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf, crumbled
- Cooking oil spray for grill
Total time: 3 hour 5 min – Prep time: 5 min + dry brining for 24 hours – Cook time: 3 hour – Serves: 4 people
1. In a baking dish that fits the duck legs in a single layer, combine the salt, pepper, thyme, and bay leaf. Press the duck legs into the seasonings and rub that all over the legs with your hands. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours.
2. Take the duck out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking. Preheat an oven to 325°F. Place duck legs, fat side down, in 1 or 2 large ovenproof skillets (cast iron is ideal). The legs should be fitting snugly in a single layer. Place the skillets on your stove burners and heat to medium-low. Sear the legs until there is approximately 1/8 to 1/4 inch of rendered fat in pan and the skin is partially cooked through. This will take approximately 15 to 20 minutes.
3. Flip the duck legs over, cover the skillets with foil, and place in the oven. Roast for 2 hours, then remove the foil and continue roasting until the duck is golden brown, about 30 to 60 minutes longer. Remove the legs from the fat to a clean board or plate. The duck can rest while you prepare side dishes. Or, you can let it cool and refrigerate it for later use.
4. Preheat your GF grill. When it is hot, spray the grill plates with oil and place the legs on the grill. Close the top and grill until warmed through and crispy, approximately 4 to 5 minutes.
5. Serve duck legs whole or pulled off the bone with buttered egg noodles or oven roasted winter squash and an autumn salad.
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