Pan Seared Duck with Red Chile Pear Sauce, Bourbon-Brown Sugar Asian Pear Relish and Potato-Blue Cheese Cakes

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr
  • Prep: 40 min
  • Cook: 20 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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4 duck breasts

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Potato-Blue Cheese Cakes, recipe follows

Red Chile Pear Sauce, recipe follows

Asian Pear Relish, recipe follows

Potato Cakes:

2 cups cold mashed potatoes

1/4 cup panko bread crumbs, plus extra for coating

1/2 cup crumbled domestic blue cheese

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Panko crumbs, for dusting

1/4 cup olive oil

Red Chile Pear Sauce:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large red onion, finely chopped

1 cup dry red wine

8 cups homemade chicken stock

2 whole New Mexican Red chiles

1 cinnamon stick

2 star anise

3 pears, peeled, seeded and halved

2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Asian Pear Relish:

3 Asian pears, peeled, seeded and diced

1/2 cup bourbon

2 tablespoons light brown sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Season the duck with salt and pepper on both sides and cook, skin-side down, until golden brown, drain the fat, turn the breast over and continue cooking in the oven to medium-rare doneness, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Place 2 Potato-Blue Cheese Cakes on each plate. Place one duck breast on top of the potato cakes, and drizzle the Red Chile Pear Sauce around the plate and on the ends of the duck breasts. Place a few teaspoons of the Asian Pear Relish on top of each of the duck breasts.

Potato Cakes:

  1. Combine the potatoes, bread crumbs and blue cheese in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Form the mixture into eight 2-inch cakes. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Dredge the cakes lightly in more panko crumbs. Heat the oil in a large saute pan over high heat. Cook the cakes until golden brown on both sides.

Asian Pear Relish:

  1. For the Red Chile Pear Sauce: Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until soft. Add the wine and cook until reduced. Add the stock, chiles, cinnamon, anise, and pears, and cook until reduced by 1/2. Strain the sauce into a clean saucepan and cook to a sauce consistency, and can coat the back of a spoon thickly. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Sauce can be gently re-heated, but cannot boil, or the sauce will break. For the Asian Pear Relish: Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the pears and cook until lightly golden brown. Remove the pan from the heat, add the bourbon and sugar and cook until the pears are lightly glazed.