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Crispy Duck with Plum and Elderflower Emulsion

All the flavors of summer with slices of crispy duck breast. Simple to make and beautiful to look at.
Course Entree
Cuisine Best, French
Level Intermediate
Main Ingredient Poultry, Vegetable
Diet Gluten-Free, Low-Carb


  • 1 pound duck breast (trimmed)
  • 4 plums of different varieties (pitted, wedged, and chilled)
  • 10 Gherkin Mexican Sour (cut in half)
  • 2 plums (pitted and roughly chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons cultured unsalted butter cultured (european style)
  • 3 carrots baby (trimmed and boiled in salt water until tender but not mushy)


  1. Score the skin side of the duck in cross-hatch pattern through the skin and into the layer of fat, this allows the fat to render out faster, which in turn helps to crisp the skin. Since the skin needs to be a dry as possible to ensure it crisps up, pat it dry with paper towels, then generously salt and pepper both sides of the breast. Put a heavy bottomed pan over medium low heat and allow the pan to warm up (but it shouldn't be too hot). Add the duck breast, skin side down and let it fry undisturbed until the skin is golden brown and crisp (7-10 minutes). Tip the pan and remove excess fat as it renders out.
  2. Flip the duck and cook until it reaches your desired level of doneness (use an instant-read thermometer). Rare: 125xb0 to 130xb0 F, Medium-Rare: 130xb0 to 140xb0 F, Medium: 140xb0 to 150xb0 F, Medium-Well: 150xb0 to 160xb0 F, Transfer the duck to a plate and let it rest for 10 minutes.
  3. While the duck is resting, make the sauce and the carrots. For the sauce, take the 2 plums you pitted and chopped and add them to a food processor along with the St. Germain, honey and salt. When the plums are completely pureed (there shouldn't be any bits of skin visible), pour the puree into a small saucepan and cook over medium low heat.
  4. For the carrots, add 2 tablespoons of good butter to a clean pan. Fry the carrots with a pinch of salt until they are tender and slightly caramelized on the edges. Transfer the carrots to a plate. Return the duck breast to the pan you just took the carrots from and baste with the browned butter. Transfer the duck to a cutting board, then pour the remaining butter into plum sauce, and quickly whisk it in.
  5. Slice the duck and arrange the slices onto two plates. Add the carrots, then scatter the gherkins and plums around the duck. Spoon some sauce over everything, then serve immediately.