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
- 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.
Joe’s Suggested Wine Pairing:
Famille Savary Bourgogne Rouge
Floral violet notes and the slightest wisp of tannin.