Recipe courtesy of Andre Burnier

Duck with Pear Sauce and Wilted Greens

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  • Level: Advanced
  • Total: 2 days 4 hr
  • Prep: 2 hr
  • Inactive: 2 days
  • Cook: 2 hr
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Pear Sauce:

Barley Risotto:

Wilted Greens:


Special equipment:
Food dehydrator Spice grinder
  1. Remove the breast and the legs from the duck (you can ask your butcher to do this for you). Remove the skin from the legs and reserve with the neck, heart, and gizzard.
  2. Heat an 8-inch saute pan over high heat. Add enough oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan. Add the duck legs and sear until well browned on all sides, but not cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes. Lower the heat to medium-low, pour off any excess fat and add the white wine. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover with a tight lid and cook slowly over low heat for 1 1/2 hours or until the meat falls off the bones. Remove the legs from the liquid and remove all the meat from the bones and set aside. Pour the braising liquid into a shallow container and remove the fat - if you refrigerate the braising liquid overnight the fat will solidify and be easy to remove. There should be at least 1 cup of braising liquid left after the removal of the fat, if not, add chicken stock to make up 1 cup. Add the braised meat back to the braising liquid and cook over low heat, just until the meat is heated through. Set aside and keep warm.
  3. Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the duck breasts, skin side down, lower the heat to medium-low, and cook without turning for 20 minutes, lowering the heat if the skin gets too dark and removing excess fat from the pan as it renders from the duck. During the last few minutes of cooking, season the flesh side with salt. Turn the breasts over and cook for 3 minutes. The duck breast should be medium rare to medium to be perfect.
  4. Remove the duck breast from the pan and let rest on a plate, reserving any juices that accumulate. Slice each breast into 4 to 6 slices. Remove the stewed duck meat from the braising liquid. Add the Pear Sauce to the braising liquid and strain through a fine strainer. Add any juices from the duck breast, the pear brandy and the butter and whisk well.
  5. Place a scoop of Barley Risotto slightly off center. Place some of the braised meat in front and the Wilted Greens on either side of the risotto. Place slices of the duck atop the braised meat. Drizzle the meat with the sauce. Sprinkle with toasted hazelnuts and place the dried pear slices into the risotto.

Pear Sauce:

  1. Using a juicer, juice 2 pears to get 1/2 cup of juice. The pears can also be grated into a bowl lined with a clean kitchen towel. Once the pulp is in the towel, close the towel and squeeze all the juice out into the bowl.
  2. Thinly slice the remaining 4 pears lengthwise. Place in a food dehydrator and dry until crisp according to manufacturer's recommendations. Save the best looking dry pear slices to garnish the plate.
  3. Using a spice grinder grind the dried pears to a powder. Add 1/2 cup of the pear powder to the 1/2 cup of juice and let sit. The juice will thicken quickly and be about the consistency of peanut butter.

Barley Risotto:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Halve the butternut squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and discard. Lightly oil a sheet pan, place the squash flesh side down, and roast until soft, about 45 minutes. Set aside to cool, then scoop out of the skin and puree until smooth using a food mill or food processor. Refrigerate.
  3. Soak the barley in the water, cover, and refrigerate overnight. Pour the barley and the soaking water into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Simmer until softened, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the butternut squash puree and season with salt and black pepper and keep warm until needed. Add butter right before serving.

Wilted Greens:

  1. Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add enough canola oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan. Add the greens and cook, tossing often, just until greens are wilted and stalks are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Set aside and keep hot.
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