Ten Spice Duck Breast, with Autumn Greens, Quinoa, and Parsnip Puree

Food Recipes by Lisë Stern / November, 2011

Chef Jeremy Bradbury served this creative dish at the recent Best of Taste Bash. The tangy black quinoa makes a pleasing visual contrast to the greens and is balanced by the sweetness of the duck meat and the creamy parsnip puree.

The recipe makes extra dressing, parsnip puree, and rub. Store the dressing and puree in the fridge in covered containers for another use (or double the amount of duck for more portions). Store extra rub at room temperature.

Adapted from Jeremy Bradbury of Mombo.

Parsnip Puree
2 pounds parsnips, peeled and sliced

1 pint half and half
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon wasabi powder
salt to taste

1 cup black quinoa

1 cup white vinegar
1 cup water

Ten Spice Rub
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger 

Banyuls Vinaigrette
1 cup Banyuls vinegar

1 small shallot
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil, as needed to emulsify
salt to taste

1 to 1 1/4 pounds Moulard Duck Breast

1 small head escarole, washed and torn into bite-size pieces

1 small head frisee, washed and torn into bite-size pieces

1. Begin to prepare the parsnip puree. Add sliced parsnips to a small saucepan and cover with half and half. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat and cook until tender, about 15 minutes.

2. Prepare the quinoa. In a medium saucepan, stir together the quinoa, water, and vinegar. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Lower heat to maintain a simmer just until the quinoa begins to split, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove lid and fluff quinoa with a fork. Drain off any remaining liquid.

3. While parsnips and quinoa cook, prepare the spice rub. In a medium bowl, whisk together all the spice mix ingredients until well blended. Set aside.

4. Prepare the vinaigrette. Combine the vinegar, shallot, garlic, mustard, and sugar in a blender. Blend into a paste, then slowly add olive oil until the mixture is emulsified. Season to taste with salt. Pour into a jar and wash blender to use for the parsnips.

5. When the parsnips are tender, strain, reserving half and half. Place parsnips in the blender with pepper and wasabi.  Begin to blend on low, slowly adding strained half and half until a smooth puree forms. Season to taste with salt.

6. Prepare the duck. Lightly score the skin with a knife to help render the fat. Rub the spice mixture on skin and flesh of the duck. (You may have extra spice mix – store at room temperature in a sealed container.) Rub in salt as well and place the duck skin-side down into a cold skillet. Heat over low heat and slowly render the fat until about 85 percent has rendered off. Turn breast over and lightly cook about 3 to 4 minutes for medium rare. Remove breast to a plate and let rest 5 minutes before slicing. Discard fat or reserve for another use.

7. Prepare the greens. In a large bowl, combine escarole, frisee, and quinoa with a few tablespoons of the vinaigrette. Toss and taste. Add additional vinaigrette, salt, and pepper if desired.

8. To serve, place about 1/2 cup of the parsnip puree on each of 4 plates, smoothing it into a small flat oval. Top each plate with the salad. Slice duck thinly and place slices overlapping the greens. If desired, drizzle duck with a little dressing.

Makes 4 servings