Duck & Thyme-Butter Pan Sauce with Caramelized Onion Potato Cakes & Arugula-Pear Salad
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Duck & Thyme-Butter Pan Sauce

with Caramelized Onion Potato Cakes & Arugula-Pear Salad

50 MIN
+$11.00/serving 2 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

WHY WE LOVE THIS DISH
Rich and savory flavors abound thanks to crispy skin duck topped with a decadent pan sauce and a side of crispy potato cakes, which boast a tender interior filled with sweet caramelized onions and melty smoked gouda—all finished with a dollop of cooling sour cream.

TECHNIQUE TO HIGHLIGHT
After cooking the duck, you’ll drain the rendered fat into a small bowl to solidify. We highly recommend storing it in your refrigerator! Use it in place of cooking oils for added richness and depth of flavor.
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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    1110 Cals (est.)
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fresh
ingredients
Duck & Thyme-Butter Pan Sauce with Caramelized Onion Potato Cakes & Arugula-Pear Salad
Title
  • 2 Skin-On Duck Breasts
  • 2 oz Arugula
  • 1 Pear
  • 1 bunch Chives
  • 1 bunch Thyme
  • 1 Tbsp Sherry Vinegar
  • ½ cup Potato Flakes
  • ½ cup Biscuit Mix
  • 3 oz Caramelized Onions & Garlic
  • 2 Tbsps Sliced Roasted Almonds
  • 1 Tbsp Whole Grain Dijon Mustard
  • 1½ Tbsps Spicy Maple Syrup
  • ¼ cup Sour Cream
  • 1 oz Salted Butter
  • 5 Tbsps Chicken Demi-Glace
  • 2 oz Smoked Gouda Cheese
time-saving
tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients
1 Prepare the ingredients

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven; preheat to 250°F (you will use the oven to keep your potato cakes warm). Wash and dry the fresh produce. Grate the cheese on the large side of a box grater. Thinly slice the chives. Halve, core, and thinly slice the pear. Pick the thyme leaves off the stems. In a medium bowl, combine the potato flakes, biscuit mix, caramelized onions, grated cheese, and 1/2 cup of water; season with salt and pepper. Set aside to let the batter rest at least 5 minutes. In a separate bowl, combine the thyme leaves, maple syrup, vinegar, and demi-glace. In a separate, large bowl, combine the mustard and 1 tablespoon of olive oil; season with salt and pepper.

Make the potato cakes
2 Make the potato cakes

In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Scoop the batter into the pan to make 6 equal-sized cakes, keeping them separate. Using the back of a spoon, gently flatten each cake into a 3- to 4-inch diameter. Cook 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to a sheet pan; season with salt. Place the sheet pan in the oven to keep warm. Wipe out the pan.

Cook the duck
3 Cook the duck

Pat the duck dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat the same pan on medium until hot. Add the seasoned duck, skin side down, and cook 9 to 11 minutes, or until browned and the skin is crispy. Flip and cook 4 to 5 minutes for medium (145°F), or until cooked to your desired degree of doneness.* Transfer to a cutting board, skin side up, and let rest at least 10 minutes. Carefully drain the duck fat into a small bowl. (Set aside to solidify. Cover and refrigerate for future use, or discard if desired.) Wipe out the pan.

*The USDA recommends a minimum safe cooking temperature of 165°F for duck.
Consuming raw or undercooked meat, poultry, fish, seafood or eggs may increase your risk of foodborne illness. 

Make the pan sauce
4 Make the pan sauce

While the duck rests, heat the same pan on medium-high until hot. Add the thyme sauce. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until slightly reduced in volume. Turn off the heat; stir in the butter until melted and combined.

Make the salad & serve your dish
5 Make the salad & serve your dish

To the bowl of mustard dressing, add the sliced pear and arugula; toss to coat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Flip the rested duck to be skin side down on the cutting board (to easily cut through the skin). Thinly slice crosswise. Serve the sliced duck (skin side up) with the potato cakes and salad. Top the duck with the pan sauce. Top the potato cakes with the sour cream and sliced chives. Top the salad with the almonds. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

Prepare the ingredients
1 Prepare the ingredients

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven; preheat to 250°F (you will use the oven to keep your potato cakes warm). Wash and dry the fresh produce. Grate the cheese on the large side of a box grater. Thinly slice the chives. Halve, core, and thinly slice the pear. Pick the thyme leaves off the stems. In a medium bowl, combine the potato flakes, biscuit mix, caramelized onions, grated cheese, and 1/2 cup of water; season with salt and pepper. Set aside to let the batter rest at least 5 minutes. In a separate bowl, combine the thyme leaves, maple syrup, vinegar, and demi-glace. In a separate, large bowl, combine the mustard and 1 tablespoon of olive oil; season with salt and pepper.

2 Make the potato cakes

In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Scoop the batter into the pan to make 6 equal-sized cakes, keeping them separate. Using the back of a spoon, gently flatten each cake into a 3- to 4-inch diameter. Cook 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to a sheet pan; season with salt. Place the sheet pan in the oven to keep warm. Wipe out the pan.

Make the potato cakes
Cook the duck
3 Cook the duck

Pat the duck dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat the same pan on medium until hot. Add the seasoned duck, skin side down, and cook 9 to 11 minutes, or until browned and the skin is crispy. Flip and cook 4 to 5 minutes for medium (145°F), or until cooked to your desired degree of doneness.* Transfer to a cutting board, skin side up, and let rest at least 10 minutes. Carefully drain the duck fat into a small bowl. (Set aside to solidify. Cover and refrigerate for future use, or discard if desired.) Wipe out the pan.

*The USDA recommends a minimum safe cooking temperature of 165°F for duck.
Consuming raw or undercooked meat, poultry, fish, seafood or eggs may increase your risk of foodborne illness. 

4 Make the pan sauce

While the duck rests, heat the same pan on medium-high until hot. Add the thyme sauce. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until slightly reduced in volume. Turn off the heat; stir in the butter until melted and combined.

Make the pan sauce
Make the salad & serve your dish
5 Make the salad & serve your dish

To the bowl of mustard dressing, add the sliced pear and arugula; toss to coat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Flip the rested duck to be skin side down on the cutting board (to easily cut through the skin). Thinly slice crosswise. Serve the sliced duck (skin side up) with the potato cakes and salad. Top the duck with the pan sauce. Top the potato cakes with the sour cream and sliced chives. Top the salad with the almonds. Enjoy!

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