Lunchbreak: Duck breast

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Steadfast executive chef Jeremy Leven


Located inside The Gray Hotel

120 West Monroe Street

The Loop


Duck breast

1 Duck breast

1 tbsp cold butter

1 ½ tsp cooking oil

4 tbsp (2 oz) chestnuts (peeled) – whole or halved or chanterelle mushrooms

2 ¼ cups chicken or duck stock (demi-glace)

1 cup wild rice

1 bay leaf

1 tbsp diced dry aged ham

4 cups water or chicken stock

1 shallot minced

4 tbsp (2 oz) blackberries

2 tbsp rice wine vinegar

2 tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp wood sorrel, finely chopped

1 tsp flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

1 tsp tarragon, finely chopped

Fresh herbs (for garnish)


For duck breast

1) Score the skin with a sharp knife so the fat will release when cooking.

2) Season duck breast to taste with salt and pepper.

3) Place duck breast in a medium-low heat skillet w/ 1 tsp of cooking oil and cook skin side down until skin is golden and crispy.

4) Turn breast over and continue cooking in pan for another 6 minutes on medium heat or put into a hot oven for 4 minutes for medium rare.

5) Let duck breast rest for 5 minutes and slice.

For chestnuts or chanterelle mushrooms

1) Take peeled chestnuts or sliced chanterelle mushrooms and simmer slowly in 16oz (2 cups) of duck or chicken stock. Add a pinch of salt and continue reducing until stock becomes glossy.

2) Add cold butter and melt slowly to emulsify and glaze the chestnuts or mushrooms.

For wild rice

1) Saute shallots and ham bits in remaining ½ teaspoon oil until translucent, about one minute. Add wild rice and sauté another minute.

2) Add water or stock, bay leaf, and a large pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer.

3) Cook on low until liquid is almost entirely reduced and the wild rice kernels begin to split open.

4) Remove from heat but leave in pot with a small amount of liquid remaining. The wild rice will continue to absorb the liquid.

For gastrique

1) Blend all ingredients together (blackberries, remaining ¼ cup duck or chicken stock {reduced}, vinegar, sugar, pinch of salt)

2) Strain and reduce until the gastrique is glossy and thickened.

To serve

1) Slice duck breast and serve over a bed of wild rice.

2) Drizzle the gastrique over the duck.

3) Serve glazed chestnuts and finely chopped fresh herbs (wood sorrel, parsley, tarragon) as garnish.


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