Sorghum-smoked Duck Breast, Dirty Fregola Sarda, Choucroute, and Truffle Pâté

Adapted by
April 2012


Smoked Duck Breast
(Yield: 1 Serving)
¾ cup water
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup sorghum
1 cup kosher salt
¼ cup ice
1 8-ounce boneless, skinless duck breast
Hickory woodchips
“Dirty” Base
(Yield: 1 quart)
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ pound ground beef
½ pound ground pork
1 ounce white onion, small diced
1 ounce green bell pepper, small diced
1 ounce celery, small diced
¼ ounce garlic, minced
1 ounce tomato paste
⅛ ounce fresh oregano, chopped
⅛ ounce fresh thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 ounces duck liver, chopped
3 ounces Abita Turbodog beer
3 ounces duck stock
2 ounces Creole seasoning
Red Cabbage Choucroute
(Yield: 1 quart)
4 pounds red cabbage
1 pound red onion, shaved
8 ounces red wine vinegar
8 ounces Red wine
3 ounces sugar
½ ounce carraway seeds
freshly ground black pepper
Truffle Pâté
(Yield: 8 ounces)
2 ounces extra virgin olive oil
½ ounce shallot, minced
2 ounces Shiitake Mushrooms , chopped
2 ounces Cremini mushrooms, chopped
7 ounces black truffle shavings
1 ounce Sherry vinegar
⅛ ounce fresh thyme, chopped
Mustard Jus
(Yield: 1 quart)
2 duck carcasses, roasted
3 shallots, chopped
3 ounces carrots, chopped
3 sprigs thyme
sprig rosemary
2 -- bay leaves
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 cup white wine
1 cup Red wine
1 gallon duck stock
1 tablespoon pommery mustard
2 ounce sorghum
To Assemble and Serve
4 ounces cooked fregola sarda
2 ounces duck confit, picked from bone
3 ounces duck stock
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
½ ounce blanched Swiss chard
1 tablespoon sorghum


For the Smoked Duck Breast:
In a small saucepot bring the water, brown sugar, sorghum, and salt to a boil. Remove from heat and add ice to cool. Add the duck breast to brine and refrigerate for 2 hours. Remove duck from brine and cold smoke with hickory woodchips for 2 hours. Dry with a towel and refrigerate.

For the "Dirty" Base:
In a small rondeau, heat the olive oil until barely smoking. Add the ground beef and pork to brown slightly. Add onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic; reduce heat to medium. Cook slowly until the vegetables are translucent. Add the tomato paste, oregano, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, liver, beer, duck stock, and Creole seasoning and simmer until almost no liquid remains. Transfer the mixture to sheet pan and cool.

For the Red Cabbage Choucroute:
Add the cabbage, onion, red wine vinegar, red wine, sugar, and carraway to a medium sized rondeau. Cook over medium-high heat until the liquid comes to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover with a parchment lid, and simmer until there is almost no liquid left and cabbage is tender. Season with salt and pepper.

For the Truffle Pâté:
Heat the olive oil over medium heat and sweat shallots, until soft. Add the mushrooms and truffle shavings and continue to cook until almost all the liquid has evaporated. Add Sherry vinegar, transfer mixture to a blender, and purée until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a lined sheet pan and cool.

For the Mustard Jus:
In a large stock pot, combine the duck carcasses, shallots, carrots, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, peppercorns, wine, and duck stock. Bring to a boil on high heat, then reduce heat and simmer until the liquid reduces by half. Strain through a chinoise, add mustard and sorghum, and cool.

To Assemble and Serve:
In a small saucepot, combine fregola, 1½ ounces "Dirty" Base, duck confit, and duck stock. Cook on medium-low heat until fregola absorbs all the liquid and is hot. Season with salt and pepper.

In another small saucepot, add 1 ounce Red Cabbage Choucroute to 1 teaspoon melted butter. Slowly heat over low heat.

In another small saucepot, reheat the blanched Swiss chard with 1 teaspoon butter on low heat. Season with kosher salt and pepper.

Heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Dry the Smoked Duck Breast with a kitchen towel and season with salt and pepper. Place the breast, skin side down, in the warm pan and slowly render the fat until crisp and brown. Flip the duck onto the flesh and cook slowly until the duck reaches medium rare. Remove the duck, and place on a cutting board to rest for 8 minutes. Drain the fat from the pan and add 1 ounce of the Mustard Jus. Remove the pan from the heat.

Spoon the "dirty" fregolaonto the center of the plate, and plate the swiss chard next to it. Spoon the Red Cabbage Choucroute on top of the chard and fregola. Slice the Smoked Duck Breast thinly and fan over the choucroute. Spoon the Mustard Jus over the duck and garnish with 1 teaspoon Truffle Pâté. Drizzle the plate with sorghum.