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Duck Breast with Peach and Mango Salsa

Duck Breast with Peach and Mango Salsa
To prepare the mango, peel it with a vegetable peeler. Stand the fruit on one of its narrow sides and, using a large, sharp knife positioned just off-center, cut off all the flesh from one side of the large, wide, flat pit in a single large slice. Repeat on the other side of the pit. Cut the flesh as desired. There will be some flesh still attached to the pit, which makes for nice, though messy, nibbling.

Ingredients:

For the salsa:

  • 1 peeled ripe peach, cut into 1⁄2-inch dice
  • 1⁄2 peeled ripe mango, cut into 1⁄2-inch dice
  • 1⁄2 small serrano chili, seeded and finely
     chopped (about 1⁄2 tsp.), or to taste
  • 3 green onions, white and light green portions,
     thinly sliced
  • 1⁄2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves,
     coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbs. diced red bell pepper (optional)
  • 1 1⁄2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

  • 4 boneless duck breast halves, each 6 to 7 oz.,
     skin on
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 tsp. canola oil

Directions:

To make the salsa, in a nonreactive bowl, combine the peach, mango, chili, green onions, cilantro, bell pepper, lime juice and salt and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour to allow the flavors to marry.

Let the duck breasts stand at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes. Preheat an oven to 375°F.

Using a sharp knife, score the duck skin in several places, being careful not to cut into the flesh. Generously season both sides of each breast with salt and pepper.

In a large, heavy ovenproof fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the duck breasts, skin side down. Cook, without moving or pressing down on them, for 5 minutes, tipping the pan and spooning off the rendered fat halfway through the cooking. The skin should be brown and crisp. Turn the duck breasts over and transfer the pan to the oven. Cook for about 5 minutes more for medium-rare, about 8 minutes more for medium. To check for doneness, make an incision with a sharp knife; the breast should be reddish pink for medium-rare and very pale pink for medium. Remember that they will continue to cook after you remove them from the heat.

Transfer the duck breasts to a carving board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 5 minutes.

Slice the duck across the grain about 1/2 inch thick. Fan a sliced duck breast on each warmed individual plate and place a mound of salsa on the side. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Sauce, by Brigit L. Binns (Simon & Schuster, 2004).