Pan-Seared Liberty Duck Breast with Duet of Roasted Beets, Lacinato Kale and Cara Cara Blood Orange Salsa Verde

December 01, 2014


Mix spices and salt for duck. Cut any overlapping skin off duck breasts and score the skin diagonally and horizontally every 1/2 inch, down to the meat.

Season duck breasts on both sides with seasoning spices and refrigerate until ready to cook.

Preheat oven to 375°.

Wash beets and cut off green tops and the very bottom of the roots. Toss beets in a bowl with the canola oil and salt and pepper. Wrap each beet in aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet. Place into oven and set timer for 40 minutes for smaller beets and 60 minutes for larger beets. Check beets at the end of time period by unwrapping one and inserting a knife into it. If the knife does not pull out easily, continue roasting, checking for doneness every 10 minutes. When done, remove beets from the oven and allow to cool.

In the meantime, zest the oranges.

Place the zest, parsley, garlic and jalapeño on a cutting board and chop finely. Place into a small bowl and add the rest of the ingredients, adjusting seasoning with salt and pepper.

Peel the oranges and separate into segments for garnishing the duck.

Peel the beets by using a couple of paper towels to rub the skin off, then cut into bite-size pieces. Place the peeled beets into a saucepan with the butter and season to taste with the salt and pepper.

Place all of the ingredients for the lacinato kale into another medium-size saucepan.

Heat a heavy sauté pan over medium-high heat. Pat duck breasts dry with a paper towel and place skin side down in the heated pan. Render the duck fat out of the skin, adjusting the heat down if the skin is getting too dark or up if the fat from the duck breasts is not rendering. When nicely caramelized, turn the duck breasts over and continue to cook until they are medium rare.

While the breasts are continuing to cook, place each of the pans containing the beets and lacinato kale on medium-high heat. Stir the kale to expose all leaves to the heat. When all of the leaves are wilted, the kale is done.

When the duck breasts have reached medium rare, remove them from the pan and allow them to rest on a room temperature plate while you are plating the dishes.

Place the lacinato kale down the center of 4 plates. Place beets on either side of kale. Slice the duck breasts into 1/2-inch slices and fan over the kale. Dollop a spoonful of citrus salsa verde over the duck, then garnish with citrus sections and parsley sprigs. Serve warm.


The Beets
  • 1 bunch golden beets
  • 1 bunch Chioggia beets (Beets are widely available at the winter farmers’ markets.)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 cup butter for heating in final dish preparation
The Kale
  • 1/2 pound baby lacinato kale (County Line Harvest and Marin Roots almost always offer this kale. If not, substitute chard or any other braising greens.)
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced very thinly
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste (Use less if the chicken broth has salt in it.)
The Citrus Salsa Verde
  • 1 Cara Cara orange
  • 1 blood orange (other oranges can be substituted for either of these)
  • 1 blood orange (other oranges can be substituted for either of these)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves crushed garlic
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Minced jalapeño, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed dried red peppers
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
The Liberty Duck Breasts
  • 2 each (12-ounce) Liberty duck breasts (Available at Thistle Meats in Petaluma and other bay area retail locations.
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup canola or olive oil (for cooking the duck breasts)
  • Additional flat-leaf parsley for garnish
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