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Seared Duck Breast with English Peas & Mushrooms
Recipe by Chef Mike Delaney
At a Glance
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4

For the duck breasts:

4 duck breasts

1 tsp. vegetable oil

Kosher salt


For the pea puree:

3 lbs. English peas, shucked

2 Tbsp. crème fraîche

1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

Kosher salt


For the peas and wild mushrooms:

1 lb. wild mushrooms

1 Tbsp. shallot, minced

Reserved blanched peas

2 Tbsp. chicken stock

1 Tbsp. butter, cold

Kosher salt

1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

1 Tbsp. chervil, chopped


For the duck breasts:

In a 12-inch non-stick sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-high for 2 minutes.  Season the duck with salt and carefully place in the pan skin-side down.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and slowly render as much of the fat in the skin as possible.  Drain the fat that collects in the pan every 2 to 5 minutes.  Continue to cook until the skin turns brown and crisps slightly, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.  Flip the breasts, increase the heat back to medium-high and continue to cook for an additional 2 minutes (for medium-rare to medium).  If using an instant-read thermometer, the temperature should register between 136-140° F.  Remove the duck from the pan and rest on a cutting board for 4 to 5 minutes before cutting and serving. 

For the pea puree:

Bring 6 quarts of salted water to a boil.  Add peas and blanch for 3 to 4 minutes or until tender.  Submerge peas in an ice bath to cool.  Remove half of the peas and reserve.  Add the remaining peas to a blender, add crème fraîche and lemon juice.  Blend on high until smooth.  Salt to taste.

For the peas and wild mushrooms:

Sauté the mushrooms on medium-high heat until soft and tender, approximately 4 minutes.  Add shallots and sauté for 1 additional minute or until the shallots are translucent.  Add the reserved cooked peas and chicken stock; bring to a boil.  Add the cold butter and swirl the pan to allow the butter to emulsify into the sauce.  Remove from heat and season with salt and lemon juice to taste.  Finish with chopped chervil.

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