Creole Duck with Crispy Corn Cakes and Candied Greens

2014 Recipe Contest 1st Runner Up, Mary Edwards, Long Beach, CA
The Creole flavors of this recipe feature a little southern heat and sweet. Sitting atop crisp corn cakes, the greens are laced with Duck Bacon, topped with ripe tomatoes and crowned with slices of Duck Breast.


Prep Time {2 hr 15 min}

Cook Time {1 hr 20 min}

Serving Size {4 servings}


4 Tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice, divided

2 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce

2 Tbsp. Whole Grain Mustard

1 tsp. Minced Garlic

2 tsp. Creole Seasoning (ready-made blend)

1 tsp. Fresh Cracked Black Pepper

2 Tbsp. Dark Brown Sugar, divided

2 (7.5 oz each) Maple Leaf Farms Duck Breasts, thawed

4 slices Maple Leaf Farms Duck Bacon

2 cups Thinly Sliced Fennel

2 large Garlic Cloves, peeled and thinly sliced

2 bunches Swiss Chard, chopped, inner ribs discarded

2 Tbsp. Chopped Peppadew Peppers*

3/4 cup Cornmeal

1/4 tsp. Salt

1 tsp. Sugar

1/2 cup Sweet Corn, cut from the cob

1/4 cup Milk

1 large Egg

4 Tbsp. Butter, divided

8 Vine-Ripened Tomato Slices

Garnish: Lemon Zest, Lemon Slices and Fennel Fronds, if desired


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1. Mix together 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, minced garlic, Creole seasoning, black pepper and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar.

2. Score the skin side of the duck breasts and place them in a sealable plastic bag. Pour the mixture over the duck and let marinate for 1 hour. Then pour the marinade into a very small sauce pan and set aside. Air dry the duck breasts for about 20 minutes.

3. In an oven-proof skillet over medium-low heat, cook the duck breasts skin-side down for 8-10 minutes or until the fat has rendered out and the skin is brown and crispy. Turn the duck over and sear the meat side.

4. Place the duck skin-side up in a 350 degree F oven for about 5-6 minutes. Allow the duck to rest for several minutes outside the oven before slicing.

5. Fry the duck bacon until nice and crispy. Remove the bacon and chop it into small pieces.

6. In the same pan that the bacon was cooked in, sauté the fennel over medium heat for about 2 minutes, stirring as needed. Add the garlic slices and cook for another minute. Stir in the remaining tablespoon of brown sugar and the remaining tablespoon of lemon juice. Stir in the chard and cook covered until the greens have wilted. Add the peppadew peppers and 3/4 of the chopped duck bacon. Keep warm.

7. Mix the cornmeal, salt and sugar in bowl and stir in 1/2 cup very hot water. Add the sweet corn and milk; Mix well. Whisk the egg and stir it into the cornmeal mixture.

8. In a heavy skillet, over medium-high heat, drizzle the skillet with some of the rendered duck fat and an equal amount of butter (a total of about 2 tablespoons of each), and working in batches, fry 8 corn cakes until crispy, turning once.

9. Just before serving, bring the reserved marinade up to a boil and add the remaining chopped duck bacon. Thinly slice the duck breasts and add any juices to the marinade. Remove the marinade from the heat and stir in 2 tablespoons of cold butter.

10. Allow two corn cakes per serving and assemble by topping each cake with the greens, a slice of ripe tomato and the sliced duck. Drizzle with the warm marinade and garnish with lemon zest, lemon slices and fennel fronds, if desired.

*Peppadew peppers can usually be found in the deli section with the olives. If not readily available, sweet cherry peppers, seeds and stems discarded, may be substituted.

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