Molasses-Glazed Duck Breast with Creamed Mustard Greens, Three-Cheese Polenta Cake and Smoked Duck Red Wine Sauce

Molasses-Glazed Duck Breast with Creamed Mustard Greens, Three-Cheese Polenta Cake and Smoked Duck Red Wine Sauce

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Credit: Donnette Hansen
The National Culinary Review, November 2008


1 gallon water
Kosher salt and white pepper
2 lbs. slow-cooking polenta
2 cups fresh goat cheese
1 cup mascarpone
Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
Fresh chopped truffles, preferably from the trim produced when prepping fresh truffles for shaving or grating
Black truffle oil
5 bunches mustard greens, stems removed, washed well, chiffonade
7 shallots, finely diced
1 quart heavy cream
Salt and white pepper
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup balsamic syrup
1 cup brandied cherry demi
1 T. black pepper, ground
1 bag Earl Grey black tea, remove from bag
Pinch cayenne pepper
Kosher salt, to taste
3 cups blended oil
1 fresh duck breast, washed and dried, cleaned of any membrane
Fresh pea shoots tossed in light vinaigrette. for garnish.


1) For polenta cakes: Bring water to a boil; season liberally with salt and pepper. Stir in polenta; reduce heat to low. Continue to stir frequently until polenta starts to thicken; cook until all water absorbed. Whisk in goat cheese and mascarpone. Check seasoning; adjust if necessary. Pour polenta onto full sheet pan; place, uncovered, in cooler until set.

2) For creamed mustard greens: Remove stems from mustard greens; wash well in several changes of water to remove grit. Roll greens up; slice thinly. Put in pan with shallots, cream and salt and pepper. Cover with aluminum foil; cook for 1 1/2 hours at 350°F. Remove from oven; adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Refrigerate.

3) For molasses glaze: Bring to a boil molasses, balsamic syrup, brandied cherry demi, pepper, tea, cayenne and salt; flambé off alcohol. Once flames have subsided, remove from heat. Add salt. Whisk in oil to emulsify. Refrigerate.

4) Preheat oven to 450°F. Put black steel sauté pan over medium- high heat. Score skin of duck breast lengthwise and then crosswise. Season duck breast with kosher salt and white pepper on both sides. Add 1 T. oil to sauté pan; heat until shimmering. Put duck breast in pan, skin-side down; cook until breast releases from pan easily and is light golden-brown. Turn breast over; sear briefly on other side, just until flesh turn white. Brush skin side of duck breast with molasses glaze; turn back over so skin side is in contact with sauté pan. Place duck breast, skin-side down, in oven for 6-7 minutes. Remove duck from pan; set in warm place to rest for 5 minutes.

5) For service: Cut out polenta rounds to preferred size. Top with Parmigiano—Reggiano and chopped truffles. Bake until warm in the center and crispy on top. Remove from oven; drizzle with truffle oil. Reheat creamed mustard greens in small nonreactive stainless pot; bring to a simmer. Return duck sauce to a simmer; remove from heat. In large bowl, place polenta cake at 2:00 and creamed mustard greens at 11:00. Sauce area in front with duck sauce. Slice rested duck breast as thin as possible; place on top of sauce. Garnish with fresh pea shoots tossed in alight vinaigrette. Serve immediately.


1 duck breast per serving


Main Dish, Poultry, The National Culinary Review

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