Recipe prepared by local chef Josh Berry.

A cold-weather favorite, duck adds high-protein and rich flavor to your holiday menu. In this recipe, Chef Josh creates Duck au Poivre with roasted fennel, pears & endive for an elegant (but easy!) new tradition. Green peppercorns are picked before they are fully ripe and add a fresh and lively finish to this meal’s creamy sauce.

Local Duck Au Poivre

Serves 2 


  • 2 each Maine-ly Poultry duck breast, skin on  
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt  
  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns, whole  
  • 2 tablespoons star anise, whole  
  • ¼ cup cognac or brandy 
  • ¼ cup red wine 
  • 2 tablespoons green peppercorns   
  • 1 cup cream   


  • Heat oven to 350f degrees. 
  • Pat duck breasts dry and season both sides with the kosher salt. 
  • Using a mortar & pestle or spice grinder, grind the black peppercorns and star anise until coarsely ground but not “dust”.  Pour the spice mixture onto a flat dinner plate.  
  • Dip the skin side of the duck into the spice mixture and firmly press so the spice mixture sticks to the skin.  
  • Place the duck skin side down in a cold, heavy bottom saute pan.  
  • Turn the heat to medium on the stovetop and slowly render the fat. 
  • Turn the duck over after approximately 5-7 minutes and then place the whole pan into the preheated oven. Cook for an additional 5-7 minutes and remove from the oven.  
  • Remove the duck from the saute pan and place on a warm plate to rest. 
  • Pour off any excess duck fat into a heat safe bowl. Save for the accompaniments below. 
  • Carefully add the cognac or brandy and the wine to the saute pan, it is best to do this off heat as the alcohol will flame up. Then using a long handle stick lighter, ignite the alcohol. The flame will subside once the alcohol has burned off. This method is called flambe. 
  • Over med-high heat, scrape any of the bits from the bottom of the pan and add the green peppercorns.  
  • Add the heavy cream and reduce the mixture by half. Season with salt. Reserve warm.

Duck au Poivre Accompaniments


  • 1 each fennel bulb, cut in half, fronds and core removed  
  • 1 each anjou pear, cut in half, seeds removed   
  • 1 each Belgian endive, cut in half   
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Harvest Olive Oil (or some of the rendered duck fat) 
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary sprigs, rubbed and rough chopped  
  • 2 tablespoons local honey 


  • Heat oven to 350f degrees  
  • Using a heavy bottom pan, add the oil or duck fat (saved from above) and heat on medium until slightly smoking.  
  • Add the fennel, pears and endive cut side down.  
  • Season the ingredients with salt and pepper. Add the rosemary on top of the vegetables and cover with aluminum foil.   
  • Place the pan in the oven and cook for 12-15 minutes until the vegetables are tender.  
  • Flip the vegetables over and drizzle on the honey.  


  • Spoon some of the creamy peppercorn sauce on the bottom of two serving plates.  
  • Slice the duck and place atop the sauce.  
  • Place some of the fennel, pears, and endive around the plate.  
  • Pour Joe’s suggested wine pairing. 
  • Enjoy! 

Joe’s Suggested Wine Pairing:

Famille Savary Bourgogne Rouge
Floral violet notes and the slightest wisp of tannin.