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Duck Breast with Grilled Potatoes & Cured VegetablesBrandon Winn from Webster House

Duck Breast With Grilled Potatoes & Cured Vegetables
Posted: 04/4/2017


Duck Breast

2 ea. ~ 14-16 oz. duck breasts

Kosher salt

Fresh ground black pepper

Maple Buerre Noir

4 oz. A or B grade maple syrup

8 oz.  Unsalted butter

1 oz. Balsamic vinegar

2 sprigs thyme

2 sprigs tarragon

1 oz. chopped garlic

Pinch chili flake

Grilled Potatoes

1# fingerling potatoes, I prefer a waxier potato for this application

4 oz. white wine vinegar

1 Tbsp. Black Peppercorns

1 Tbsp. strong Dijon mustard

3 c. water

2 T kosher salt

1 oz. extra virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper as preferred

Cured Vegetables

2 or 3 varietal carrots

1/2 # asparagus

3 ribs celery

4 oz. water

4 oz. sherry vinegar

2 oz. honey

1 clove minced garlic

1 tsp. chili flake

1 Tbsp. kosher salt

1 toasted caraway seed

Webster House


Duck Breast

Duck breast is one of my favorite things to eat and to cook! It is a protein this is vastly underutilized by home cooks.  Broadway Butcher, Whole Foods & McGonigle’s Market are all great places to source Duck.  

Clean any silver skin or cartilage from the bottom of the breast being careful to leave the tenderloin attached. Score the fat side in one direction every ¼” carefully as to not go all the way through the fat. This will make the breast cook too rapidly while rendering.  Season the fat liberally with salt and pepper and allow to sit for 15 minutes.  Heat a cast iron pan over medium high heat and place breasts in the pan, back the heat off to medium.  A good amount of fat will begin to build up in the pan, you will want to remove the breasts and dump this off carefully into a metal or pyrex container as to not shallow fry the breasts. Once the skin is crisp and down to a ¼” thickness season the flesh side and flip the breast. You can finish this on the stove top or go into a 350 degree oven for 6 minutes to reach an internal temperature of 130 degrees.  Allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing to avoid blood loss and slice appropriately. The fat that was dumped off is a great substitute for oil when sautéing but does have a lower smoke point. 

Maple Buerre Noir

In a thick bottom with a very small amount of oil sweat garlic and chili until fragrant.  Add all other ingredients; allow to steep over low heat until reduced by half (20 minutes).  Whisk in butter in small increments to incorporate.  Once all the butter is in, strain and serve.

Grilled Potatoes

Cut potatoes on a bias into equal size pieces. The more surface area, the easier it will be to get color on them on the grill. Place potatoes in a medium sized heavy bottom pot with vinegar, peppercorns, mustard, water and kosher salt; bring up to a simmer slowly. Once a simmer is reached, slow down to poach until al dente. Allow to cool in the liquid and store until ready to use.  

Heat your grill to medium high heat (350 degrees or so). Drain potatoes off well so the oil will coat and adhere well.  Once thoroughly dried, toss in oil, salt and pepper and mark off on the grill until lightly charred and heated properly. Serve immediately or use to make an interesting twist on potato salad.

Cured Vegetables

In a small pot toast caraway seeds until fragrant over medium heat. Add garlic and allow to cook for 30 seconds stirring constantly. Add water, vinegar, honey, chili and salt and cook over low heat for 5 minutes to infuse flavors.  Remove from heat and allow to cool. 

With a vegetable peeler, peel the outside of the carrots and the outer layer of the celery off and discard.  Peel long strips off of the carrots, asparagus and celery until you can’t peel anymore. The asparagus can be used for a salad or sautéed and the other scraps are perfect for stock. 

Strain the cooled brine and toss the vegetables in it. Allow to sit for a 10 minutes and toss again. Once this sits for 30 minutes total it is ready to serve.

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