Main courses

Breasts of duck with quinces

1 December 2017

Now your Advent calendars are out and the danse begins with the duck.

I’m not able to translate the end of the text because it’s a word game only working in French. But it’s so good… (The recipe I mean, not my word game!)


For 6 people

  • 3 breasts of duck
  • 2 quinces
  • 1 bottle of Banyuls wine
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
  • 80g (1/3 cup) of salted butter
  • 1 rosemary sprig


  • 300g (10 oz) of polenta
  • 50g (11/2 oz) of grated parmesan

Peel the quinces, cut them into quarters, and core them. Place them in a pan with the wine, the cinnamon and the rosemary. Bring to a boil and cook for ten minutes, then remove from heat and let cool.

When the quinces are cooled, cut each quarter into 3 slices, and briefly fry them with a little bit of oil and a tsp of sugar to caramelize them. Set aside and keep warm.

Meanwhile, cook the polenta in 125cl (5 cups) of salted water, stirring regularly.

When it’s done, mix with the grated parmesan. Then roll out the polenta between two sheets of baking paper using a rolling pin. Polenta should be about 1,5 cm (1/2 in) thick.

Using a cookie cutter, cut some make some patties and fry them with a little bit of oil. Sat aside and keep warm.

Cut slits in the skin of the breasts, then place them in a cold frying pan. Cook over low heat for about 6 to 7 minutes, removing regularly the fat. Cook about 4 minutes on the other side, then roll each of them in an aluminum foil. Set aside while preparing the sauce.

Wipe off the fat from the frying pan and deglaze with the balsamic vinegar. Add 400ml (12/3 cups) of the cooking wine and let reduce. Then add the butter cut into small pieces and mix.

Arrange on plates, alternating slices of duck breast and slices of quinces. Serve with the polenta patties and drizzle with the sauce.

Plate: Heloise  @ Bernardaud

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