Contestant Phil ‘Peachez’ Bolton's entree dish, as seen on Worst Cooks In America, Season 24.
Recipe courtesy of Cliff Crooks

Duck Breast with Dukkah Crust, Endive, Potato and Sour Cherry Jus

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr
  • Active: 2 hr
  • Yield: 4 servings
Originating in Egypt, Dukkah (meaning to crush) is a Middle Eastern condiment of herbs, nuts and spices. There are many variations. It can be used as a dip, coating or finishing garnish for texture. Here, we use it as a coating for the duck.



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Score the skin on the duck in a crosshatch pattern, being careful not to cut into the meat. Sprinkle the duck on both sides with kosher salt and pepper. Gently heat a dry cast-iron pan over low heat. Place the duck into the pan, skin side down, and begin to slowly render the duck fat. Very slowly and gently, cook until most of the fat has rendered, about 20 minutes. Flip the duck and cook on the flesh side for 3 to 4 minutes, basting with some of the duck fat, until the duck reaches an internal temperature of 130 degrees F for medium-rare. Remove from the pan and allow to rest on a sheet tray lined with a rack. Reserve the duck fat.
  3. Add a drizzle of oil, 2 sprigs of the thyme, the bay leaf, shallots and pink peppercorns to a small saucepan. Saute over medium-high heat until the shallot has softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the sugar and 1/2 cup of the sherry vinegar. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until reduced au sec (or until there is barely anything left), a few minutes. Add the red wine and continue to reduce until almost completely dry, 5 to 6 minutes. Add 1 cup of the veal demi and 1/2 cup of the chicken stock and cook until reduced and slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Strain the sauce into another saucepan and put back on the heat. Add the sour cherries and the remaining cup of demi and reduce until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the butter and the remaining 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar and remove from the heat.
  4. Coat the bottom of a large cast-iron pan with oil and heat over medium-high heat. Season the endive with salt and place into the pan, cut side down, and sear for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove and place onto a sheet tray.
  5. In another large saute pan, add the orange juice and the remaining 4 sprigs thyme and 1/2 cup chicken stock. Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes. Add the charred endive and the remaining 1 stick butter and braise in the sauce until softened, about 10 minutes.
  6. Combine the coriander, cumin, sesame seeds, cardamom and 1 teaspoon kosher salt in a small bowl. Brush the skin side of the duck breast with the honey. Press an even crust with the spice mixture onto the duck, making sure to firmly press to ensure it's nicely adhered to the honey. Slice the duck lengthwise.
  7. For the potatoes, using a cast-iron pan, heat up the reserved duck fat on medium heat. Season the sliced potatoes. Sear the potatoes gently in the duck fat and then place in the oven. Cook on the first side until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes, then flip over for another 8 minutes.
  8. To plate, place one endive at the 2 o'clock position, 2 slices of roasted potato at 5 o'clock and the sliced duck breast at 9 o'clock – or just have fun and artfully display the beautiful work you've just produced. Sauce the center of the plate and a little bit around the duck. Garnish with flaky sea salt.