Black Pepper and Sage-Cured Duck Breast with Gorgonzola Biscuits

Chef David Holben - Taste of the NFL 1999


Prep Time {1 hr; 2 - 3 hr inactive}

Cook Time {38 min}

Serving Size {6 servings}



6 Maple Leaf Farms Boneless Duck Breasts

1/2 Head Napa Cabbage, coarsely shredded

1 Red Papaya, peeled, pitted, cut into 1/2" strips


1/2 Cup Ground Coriander

1/4 Cup Black Pepper

1/2 Cup Garlic Cloves

1/2 Cup Brown Sugar

1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt

1/2 Cup Fresh Sage, chopped

1/4 Cup Fresh Rosemary, chopped

1/4 Cup Fresh Thyme, chopped

Ginger Vinaigrette:

1 Cup Rice Wine Vinegar

2 Cups Olive Oil (Virgin or Extra-Virgin preferred)

2 Tablespoons Honey

1 1/2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil

2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce

2 Tablespoons Garlic Puree

1 1/2 Tablespoons Grated Ginger

1 Teaspoon Chili Flakes

Gorgonzola Biscuits:

2 Cups All-Purpose Flour

1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder

3/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1 Teaspoon Sugar

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

1/2 Tablespoon Butter

1/3 Cup Buttermilk

1 Cup Gorgonzola Cheese


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For the Cure: 1. Puree all ingredients for the cure in a food processor. The cure should be sticky and pliable. Add a little oil if the mixture seems too dry.

For the Duck: 1. Score the skin side of the duck breast and sprinkle with salt. This will help release some of the fat and crisp the skin. Rub the meat side of the breast with the cure. Let the meat cure in the refrigerator for two to three hours.

2. In a medium-hot dry saute pan, saute breasts on skin side until golden brown. Turn the breasts over and saute for two to four minutes. (At this point you may put the duck breasts in the refrigerator and keep them for up to two days.) Place duck breasts in a pan and finish in a 350 degree oven until internal temperature of duck reaches 155 degrees. Remove from the pan and let the meat rest for five minutes.

For the Vinaigrette: 1. Whisk all ingredients together and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Set aside.

For the Biscuits: 1. Sift dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Incorporate butter slowly, being careful not to over-mix. The consistency of the mixture should resemble corn meal. Add buttermilk and mix just until all flour is moistened. Gently roll out dough on a floured surface until about 1/4 - 1/2 inch thick. Cut biscuits with circular cutter to preferred size. Bake on a sheet pan in a 400° oven about 10-11 minutes.

To Serve: 1. In a large bowl, mix the Napa cabbage and papaya together; add some Vinaigrette and gently toss until greens are just coated. Split a biscuit and open onto the plate. Arrange some slaw on top. Thinly slice the duck breast lengthwise and place in front and on top of the slaw. Drizzle with a little more of the vinaigrette. Serve.

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