Pan Roasted Duck Breast with Cherry and White Peppercorn Sauce Wild Rice with Toasted Pecans

Pan Roasted Duck Breast with Cherry and White Peppercorn Sauce Wild Rice with Toasted Pecans

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Serves: 4

Serve with Joseph Phelps Vineyards Napa Syrah

For the Duck:

2 - 8oz.

Muscovy duck breasts
2 Tbsp. Joseph Phelps Vineyards olive oil
  Kosher salt
  Freshly ground white pepper


Preheat the oven to 400°F. With a sharp knife score the fat of the duck breasts in a criss-cross pattern. Season the duck with salt and pepper. In a heavy-bottomed oven proof pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Place duck breasts, skin side down, in pan and sear for about 6 minutes. Turn the duck breasts over and sear for 1 minute. Turn the fat side down again and place the pan in the oven to roast for 7 to 9 minutes until the duck breasts are medium rare. Remove duck breasts from pan and keep warm. Remove all but 1 Tbsp. of duck fat from roasting pan and reserve roasting pan and 1 Tbsp. duck fat for use in recipe below.

For the Cherry and White Peppercorn Sauce:

2 Tbsp.

Unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. Yellow onion, minced
½ cup Dried cherries
1 tsp. Coarsely ground white peppercorns
1 Tbsp. Rendered duck fat (reserved from Duck recipe above)
1 tsp. Sherry vinegar
2 ¼ tsp. Cornstarch
2 Tbsp. Unsulfured molasses
½ cup Madeira wine
  Duck or chicken stock


Melt 1 Tbsp. butter in medium saucepan over low heat. Add the onions and sauté slowly, until soft. Add the dried cherries, molasses, peppercorns and duck stock. Simmer 15 minutes. Blend the cornstarch with ¼ cup of the Madeira. Mix the Madeira/cornstarch blend into the duck sauce and simmer until slightly thickened, 3 to 4 minutes, set aside. Add remaining ¼ cup Madeira to the roasting pan (reserved from Duck recipe above) and combine with 1 Tbsp. of rendered duck fat. Boil rapidly, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan and reduce the wine to 2 Tbsp. Strain the wine reduction into the prepared duck sauce. Add the sherry vinegar to the duck sauce, simmer 1 to 2 minutes then swirl in the remaining 1 Tbsp. of butter. Slice the duck breast into thin slices, arrange on plates, spoon sauce over the duck breast slices.

For the Wild Rice with Toasted Pecans:

½ cup

Pecan halves, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp. Unsalted butter
1/8 tsp. Kosher salt
1 Tbsp. Fresh chopped parsley leaves
1 - 8 oz. package of wild rice
  Chicken stock
  Freshly ground white pepper to taste


Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a small baking pan toss the pecans with 1 Tbsp. melted butter and salt and toast them in the center of the oven until they are fragrant and crisp, about 10 minutes. Cook the rice according to the package directions, substituting chicken stock for water and adding 1 Tbsp. of melted butter to the stock. When all the liquid has been absorbed, remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork and add the toasted nuts and chopped parsley. Season to taste as necessary.