Moulard Breast with Spring Cherries, Sweet Peas and Yukon Duck Fat Fries

posted in: Cooking, Savory | 18


I went to the market today in search of duck and came home with an eye of beef round with which to make bresaola. Yes, bresaola. The Italian cured meat. Yes, it takes more than a month to make. Yes, there are bacterial dangers. Yes, I will have to convert my old wine fridge to the tune of some extra cashola for humidifiers, temperature controllers and fans.  Yes, I am singlemindedly obsessed. But hey, at least I remembered the duck breast!

After I pored over bresaola recipes and whiled away the afternoon, I realized I needed to do something with my duck. Thank god for local produce and springtime! This recipe practically made itself.  I tossed salted, peppered and garlic powdered breasts into the sous vide at 140° for two hours while I threw together the rest of the plate.  The cherries have begun to bless us with their sanguine flesh here in Washington (can you believe it?) and what a season it promises to be. I bought a pricy pound but ate half of them on the way home they were so shazaam succulent.  I made a simple sauce from what I had left, simmering them with some vino dolce, adding a touch of broth, and finishing with freshly shelled peas just before I plated the dish. 

If you’re as big a fan of duck as I am, you’ll probably agree that there is no better accompaniment than potatoes fried in the rendered duck fat.  These fries were especially unctuous because I added some caramelized onions to the fat as well, making for a side dish robust enough to stand up to the duck.  Both the duck and the fries benefit hugely from the addition of my favorite thing on earth. NO, I didn’t toss a pair of Manolo Blahniks into the fryer, people, jeesh! I’m talking about SALT, not SHOES, but you’re right, maybe we’ll call them neck and neck vying for the “number one favorite thing” position in my heart.  And yes, I know I have the best baby on earth, Bentley Danger, but he doesn’t count because he’s a person not a thing. Eeenyways, back to adding shoes to duck and fries. I mean salt. 

mise en plus

You probably know by now that I love to make salt myself.  You may also know that my salt obsession was borne from my husband’s annoyance with me insisting on getting a new pair of shoes in every country we visit. I figured he’d be more amenable to salt instead, because it’s lighter on the luggage and on the pocketbook, which I think was his real beef.  I used several different salts in the making of this dish because different salts perform differently in different applications.  For the rapid brine (only rapid because I didn’t leave myself enough time) of the breast, I used plain old kosher salt. For the salt rub on the breasts in the sous vide bath I used Portugese flor de Sal from Marx FoodsI tossed the fries with a bit of my own salt since I love it as a finishing salt on something hot for the way it melts.  I even added a little Maldon salt to the top of the cherry sauce since the little pyramids look so lovely and it helps balance the sweet flavor. 

Who knew you could employ four salts in one meal and truly justify different uses for all? I’m extra saline-sensitive right now because I’m hosting a salt-tasting soiree soon wherein my guests will be subject to a blind tasting of the salts of the world.  Do you have a favorite salt? One you can’t live without that is your go-to kitchen staple? If so let me know in the comments section of this post. I want to be sure to have a varied representation and not miss anyone’s nearest and dearest.


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18 Responses

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  5. Wow, looks tasty! Thanks for posting)

  6. Paula Wolfert and I bought some moulard duck breast and I was wondering what to do with my share….I love duck and cherries are a big weakness..can’t wait to try this one.

  7. @Lara Alexander
    I too love the Halen Mon! The tasting is now past, it got a few votes- I think it’s an acquired salt flavor perhaps? Posting about the results of the tasting soon,stay tuned :)

  8. All you had to say was Yukon duck fat fries…

  9. I just wrote about salt today. My favorite: smoked salt from Halen Mon. I also have a truffle salt and a nicoise salt in my kitchen at the moment. And a Nigerian “native salt.” You really know how to work it with the salts! Your post makes me feel like a salt moron. Also, salt tasting? Fantastic! What will people use to taste them??

  10. What an absolutely beautiful presentation of all that goodness. I love duck–love how you prepared it.

  11. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Linda M Nicholson, Linda M Nicholson. Linda M Nicholson said: Moulard Breast with Spring Cherries, Sweet Peas and Yukon Duck Fat Fries […]

  12. Love the addition of the cherries with the duck. I too love all of the varieties of salt – my favorites right now are Fluer de Sel, Gray Salt and Hawaiian salt.

  13. This looks and sounds amazing! Wow…mouth is watering!

  14. I just made duck legs this weekend, and cherries would have been a perfect accompaniment! Also coincidentally, I went to Greenwood Tavern in Cleveland (this weekend too), and had their pommes frites which are fried in duck fat and they were INCREDIBLE. Sounds like great minds think alike. :)

  15. Jeesh, This fall into the category of, “Why didn’t I think of this?”, which is why you are so crazy amazing! It’s right there, but you find it and see it and put it together and the rest of us swoon.

    Glad no shoes were sacrificed in the making of this dish. That would be an unpardonable offense.

  16. This sounds and looks delicious. I especially love the sound of Duck Fat Fries!!

  17. i thought about crying because this sounds so amazing. yes, i’m weird, i know…but food just does that to me!

  18. Another dish that makes my mouth watered. Duck and cherries, great combo.

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