Seared Duck Breast with Wheat Berries and Endive

A romantic dinner for two
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Seared Duck Breast with Wheat Berries and Endives
Photo: Lizzie Munro/Tasting Table

For this composed dish, duck breasts are seared and paired with wheat berries and a sauce made from sautéed aromatics and reduced chicken stock. For crunch and brightness, the duck is also topped with endive, scallion and flat-leaf parsley lightly dressed with fresh orange juice and zest, and a sprinkle of shichimi tōgarashi, the Japanese seven chile pepper.

Follow our instructions on how to sear duck breast

To learn more, read "Duck à Deux."

Seared Duck Breast with Wheat Berries and Endive

Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen

Yield: 2 servings

Prep Time: 1 hour, plus chilling time

Cook Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours and 20 minutes, plus chilling time


For the Duck:

2 boneless skin-on Long Island duck breasts, skin scored in a crosshatch pattern

Kosher salt, to taste

Pinch shichimi tōgarashi, for garnish (optional)

For the Sauce:

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ medium yellow onion, chopped (about ¾ cup)

1 medium carrot, chopped (about ⅓ cup)

Kosher salt, to taste

3 thyme sprigs

1 bay leaf

½ cup dry white wine

1 quart low-sodium chicken stock

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

For the Wheat Berries:

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots (about 1 small shallot)

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

½ cup wheat berries

1 bay leaf

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the Endive Salad:

1 endive, sliced crosswise 1 inch thick

1 scallion (dark and light green parts only), sliced very thinly on an angle

¼ cup flat-leaf parsley

1 tablespoon fresh orange juice, plus ¼ teaspoon freshly grated orange zest

1½ teaspoons white wine vinegar

Kosher salt, to taste


1. Prepare the duck: Season the duck breasts on both sides with and place in the fridge uncovered for at least 3 hours or up to overnight.

2. Make the sauce: In a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat, add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions and carrots. Season with salt and cook, stirring often, until soft, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the thyme, bay leaf and wine, and reduce by half over medium-high heat, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil then reduce over medium heat to 1 cup, 40 to 50 minutes. Strain and reserve the liquid, then transfer it back into the clean saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce to a ¼ cup, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the butter until the sauce is smooth and silky. Keep warm. Make ahead: The sauce can be made the day before, covered and chilled.

3. Meanwhile, make the wheat berries: In a small saucepan over medium heat, the olive oil. Add the shallots and garlic, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the wheat berries and bay leaf and cover with 1½ cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer until the wheat berries are al dente, 35 to 40 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook until tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, another 10 to 15 minutes.

4. Remove the duck breasts from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking. Place the duck breasts skin-side down in a dry, cold skillet and place over medium heat. As the fat begins to render, pour the excess fat from the skillet into a bowl and save for another use. Continue to pour out the fat until the skin becomes crisp and golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Flip the breast over and sear for 1 minute. Transfer to a cutting board. Let the duck rest for 5 minutes before carving at an angle against the grain.

5. Meanwhile, make the endive salad: In a medium bowl, toss the endive, scallion, parsley, orange juice and zest, and vinegar. Season with salt.

6. Spoon the wheat berries onto two plates. Divide the duck breast slices between the two plates and sprinkle with tōgarashi, then drizzle with sauce and top with the endive salad.

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