Muscovy Duck Breast and Confit, Stewed Cherries, Grilled Onions, and Romaine

Adapted by
November 2011
Yield: 8 Servings


Brined Muscovy Duck Breast
1 quart water
4 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons salt
½ teaspoon curing salt
½ onion, rough chopped
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 tablespoon pickling spice
2 Muscovy duck breasts
Grilled Onion Marinade
¾ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
2 sprigs thyme
2 sprigs mint
1 chile de arbol
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Grilled Onions
1 medium red onion, cut to ½-inch slices
1 medium white onion, cut to ½-inch slices
Port Reduction
1 bottle Port
Pinot-poached Cherries
3 cloves
4 allspice berries
½ stick cinnamon
1 whole star anise
12 peppercorns
1 pint pinot noir
1 pint water
1 cup sugar
1 cup dried Mt. Hood cherries
Hazelnut Butter: (Yield: 1 cup butter)
9 ounces Oregon hazelnuts, roasted
¾ teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
Romaine and Duck Confit
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup duck confit
1 head romaine lettuce, cut into bias strips
2 teaspoons butter
1 shallot, finely minced
1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
Champagne vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


For the Brined Muscovy Duck Breast:
Combine the water, sugar, salt, curing salt, onion, garlic, and pickling spice in a pot and bring to a boil. Chill completely. Submerge the duck breasts in the Brine overnight. Remove the duck and pat dry the next day.

For the Grilled Onion Marinade:
Mix together the vinegar, oil, sugar, lemon zest, thyme, mint, chile, and salt and pepper.

For the Grilled Onions:
Marinate the onions in the Grilled Onion Marinade overnight. Strain off the marinade and reserve. Grill the onions until slightly charred. Put the grilled onions in a bowl and pour the marinade back over the onions. Cover tightly and set in a warm place, allowing the onions to become tender. Keep warm.

For the Port Reduction:
Empty the Port into a saucepot. Heat on low until just barely simmering. Reduce the heat to avoid boiling, which will impart bitterness to the end product. Reduce the Port until it becomes syrupy. The process may take hours.

For the Pinot-poached Cherries:
Put the cloves, allspice, cinnamon, star anise, and peppercorns in a sachet. In a pot, bring the Pinot Noir, water, and sugar to a boil; reduce to simmer until the scent of alcohol is gone. Add the cherries to the liquid and steep, covered, over a very low heat, until the cherries are soft.

For the Hazelnut Butter:
Pour the hazelnuts into a food processor. Grind hazelnuts while gradually adding sugar and salt through the feed tube. Scrape down the sides and continue to process until desired texture is achieved.

For the Romaine and Duck Confit:
In a medium sauté pan, heat the olive oil and bring the pan to medium-high heat. Sauté the duck confit until slightly crispy. Add the romaine to the pan and wilt just slightly. Add the butter and take the pan off the heat. Finish with the shallot and parsley. Adjust the seasoning with Champagne vinegar, salt, and pepper.

To Assemble and Serve:
Score the skin of the Brined Muscovy Duck Breast and place skin side down in cold skillet over medium heat until the fat slowly starts to render. Once the fat is rendered, turn the breast over and cook to desired doneness. Once finished, let the duck rest for 5 minutes. Sauce the plate with Hazelnut Butter and Port Reduction. Put a generous spoonful of the sautéed Romaine and Duck Confit in the center of the plate. Thinly slice the Duck Breast on a bias, and shingle the duck breast on top of the Duck Confit. Put a spoonful of Pinot-poached Cherries on the plate and finish with the Grilled Onions on top of the Duck Breast.