Traci Des Jardins’ Duck Breast with Rhubarb, Spring Onions and Blistered Fava Beans, as seen on Guy's Ranch Kitchen Season 6.
Recipe courtesy of Traci Des Jardins

Duck Breast with Rhubarb, Spring Onions and Blistered Fava Beans

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 20 min
  • Active: 1 hr 5 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
Liberty Farms duck was always on the menu at Jardiniére and was an enduring favorite, either duck breast or duck leg confit. Seasonally, we would come up with different favorites, and spring would bring fava beans and rhubarb. The tartness of the rhubarb and the funkiness of fava beans pair well with a perfectly cooked duck breast.



  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Trim the duck breasts of any sinew, then score the fat without cutting through to the breast meat by making fine cuts with a very sharp knife about 1/8-inch apart and 1/8-inch deep into the surface of the fat, all in one direction and then in the other direction to form a crosshatch.
  3. In a hot cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, cook the fava beans in their skins until they are blistered. Stir to flip, then add a generous pinch of salt and cook until the skins start to split, about 2 minutes. Let cool, then peel the beans.
  4. Cut the rhubarb into 1/4-inch-thick pieces until you have 2 cups. Retain the ends and odd pieces, and chop them. Place 1/8 cup sugar in a sauté pan and add enough water to moisten. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until the sugar starts to caramelize, about 2 minutes. Add the nicely cut rhubarb pieces and cook just until the rhubarb begins to soften, about a minute. Immediately remove from the pan with a flat spatula and set aside. (Be careful not to overcook!) Add 1 cup water to the pan and the remaining 1/8 cup sugar and rhubarb scraps, then cook for about 6 minutes. Strain the juice, pressing to extract all the juice into a measuring cup. Discard the rough-cut rhubarb scraps.
  5. Cut the spring onions into 1/4-inch rounds, only cutting the white and half the green. Place the olive oil into a sauté pan and heat over medium heat. Add the spring onions and a generous pinch of salt and pepper, then cook slowly without browning, turning down to medium-low heat as necessary. Cover and cook until soft but not falling apart, 3 to 4 minutes. Set aside.
  6. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  7. Sprinkle the duck breasts with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet on medium-high heat and place skin-side down in the skillet. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, slowly rendering the fat until the skin is crispy, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and cook, basting in the duck fat, until the skin is a deep golden brown. Flip the duck over and place on a tray in the oven until medium-rare, about 5 minutes. Set the duck breasts aside to rest. Deglaze the pan with the rhubarb juice, then add the chicken stock and cook until emulsified, about 1 minute. Remove the thyme stems and garlic. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  8. Mix together the rhubarb, favas and spring onions in a small sauté pan, then add the Italian parsley and gently warm over low heat until warm, about 2 minutes. Slice the duck breast and place a little rhubarb, spring onion and favas down on the plate. Fan the sliced duck breast over, then place a little rhubarb, spring onion and favas over. Sauce around the duck and garnish with the arugula.