John Dahlstrom, Executive Chef at Nettare


1953 W Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60622

*Opening mid to late October*


Smokey Duck Breast with Crispy Skin Grits and Pickle Relish

Duck Brine

  • 1 Duck breast skin on
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 ½ tablespoons salt
  • ½ tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoon liquid smoke
  • Zest from one orange


Combine all ingredients, except duck, in a large container. Whisk until salt and sugar have dissolved, submerge duck in brine and refrigerate for 2-4 hours.


  • ½ cup yellow grits or polenta
  • 2 cups milk
  • ½ cup duck fat
  • ½ cup crispy duck skin
  • ¼ creme fraiche
  • 2 tablespoons chives
  • Salt to taste.


Place a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add half the duck fat and heat until it smokes just a little, add dry grits and toast in duck fat until fragrant. Reduce heat to low and add milk slowly at first while whisking continuously, after you’ve added about a quarter of the milk feel free to dump the rest in. Whisk grits to make sure everything is homogeneous. Simmer grits until soft and cooked per package instructions. You might have to add more milk as you go. Once grits are cooked, turn off heat, season with salt and whisky in chives, the rest of the duck fat, and crispy skin.

Pickle Relish

¼ cup kosher pickles, small dice

¼ cup napa cabbage, julienned

¼ cup carrots julienned

2 cloves garlic grated on a microplane

¼ cup red onion julienned

1 tablespoon sugar

¼ cup pickle juice

2 tablespoons whatever vinegar you like

Salt to taste


Combine all ingredients in a large container and mix thoroughly. Let sit and marinade while you prepare the dish. Feel free to come back and give the relish a mix as you go to further evenly distribute the dressing.

To Cook Duck and finish the dish.


Retrieve duck duck from brine, pat dry with paper towels. Lightly season duck with salt and place in a medium, cold, dry pan skin side down. Turn the pan on medium heat and begin cooking the duck. If the duck begins to curl up a bit feel free to press it down into the pan to insure skin is making contact with the pan. Continue to cook duck skin side down until fat is rendered and skin is crispy, you should end up cooking the duck mostly on one side. Flip duck over and finish cooking to medium. Remove duck from pan and set aside to rest.


Warm grits through and spoon onto a plate or into a bowl, once duck is rested, 3-4 minutes, slice and place over grits, give your relish one last stir and place some off to the side of the duck on the dish, make sure to drain most of the juice off the relish you use or else things get a little watery.