Western Cooks: Orange Duck with a Beet and Pomegranate Salad

By: Cutter Kilgore

Original recipe from Food Wishes blog:


Ingredients for the duck and sauce:

2 duck breasts, 6 to 8 oz each

1 vegetable oil

1 navel orange

2 tbsp Grand Marnier (orange liquor)

1 tbsp sherry vinegar

pinch of cayenne

1 rounded tbsp Seville orange marmalade

1 cup chicken broth

1 tbsp butter

salt and pepper to taste


Ingredients for the salad:


1 lb beets, trimmed and scrubbed

6 tbsps extra virgin olive oil

Fresh rosemary

1 pomegranate

1 small white onion

4 oz. chevre goat cheese

Small, tender leaves from the center of a bunch of celery

2 tbsps white wine vinegar

1 tbsp honey

¼ cup almonds

1 small shallot

Salt and pepper


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Here’s a wonderfully flavorful autumn recipe with a crisp brightness and a balance of earthy flavors to delight the palate.


Preheat oven to 375 degrees with the oven rack in the center position.

Start by washing the beets. Then, rub them with 1 tbsp of the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the beets on a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil, add a few sprigs of fresh rosemary. Tightly wrap the foil around the beets and place on a baking pan. Put your beets into the oven for one hour or until tender. Set beets aside for 30 minutes to cool, then peel and cube into 1 inch pieces.

Put a splash of oil in a cooking pan to coat the bottom and heat until shimmering, but not smoking. Add almonds and stir continuously until fragrant, about 2-4 minutes. Be careful they don’t burn.

Grate the peel of the orange until you have about 2 tsp of orange zest.

Mince 1 small shallot.

Slice the onion. Put onion in a colander and run under hot water for several minutes. Set aside to drain.

Slice your pomegranate in half. Use the great pomegranate-whacking technique. (Smack the darn fruit on its backside with your heftiest wooden spoon until it releases all of its delicious seeds.) Put the seeds in a bowl and set aside.

Score your duck breast on the skin side by slicing it in a cross-hatch pattern with a sharp knife. Be careful not to cut all the way down to the meat. Salt the duck generously on both sides. Let duck sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Combine orange zest, Grand Marnier, sherry vinegar, orange marmalade, a cup of chicken stock and a pinch of cayenne into a mixing bowl and whisk.

In a separate bowl, mix together vinegar, honey, almonds and minced shallot. While whisking, drizzle in the remaining 5 tbsps of olive oil until the mixture has thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Over medium or medium high heat, melt a tbsp of butter or oil. Cook duck breast skin-side down until golden brown and crispy, up to 6 minutes. Season with a little black pepper if you like. Flip breast and cook the other side for 2-4 minutes. If you have a meat thermometer, try to aim for an internal temperature of about 135-145 degrees. Set duck aside on a plate to rest. Tent with foil to keep it long.

Remove oil from the pan. Pour the broth and orange mixture into the still-hot pan. Reduce until thickened by about half. Remove the pan from the heat and add 1 tbsp cold butter. Continue to whisk as the butter melts until the sauce is thick and glossy.

Place cubed beets and rinsed onions in a large bowl. Toss with the honey-almond vinaigrette. Spoon onto a plate and top with celery leaves, pomegranate seeds, and goat cheese.

Plate one sliced duck breast beside it and top with the orange reduction.

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