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Honey-Roasted Duck Breasts with Toasted Red Quinoa and Asian Pears


This autumnal dish from chef Kyle Bailey was designed specifically to pair with dark sour beer. The crisp-skinned duck breasts are pan-seared first, then basted with honey, and served with a sweet Asian pear sauce and fluffy quinoa.

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Rate this recipe 4.7/5 (6 Votes)


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups red quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 2 1/4 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • Two 1-pound Moulard duck breast halves
  • Finely ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 small Asian pears, peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary


Servings 4
Preparation time 40mins
Cooking time 50mins
Adapted from


Step 1

Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large ovenproof saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Season with salt. Add the quinoa and cook, stirring, until the quinoa is lightly toasted, 2 minutes. Add 2 cups of the stock and bring to a simmer. Cover and bake for about 20 minutes, until all of the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is tender. Let stand, covered, for 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork and fold in the parsley; keep warm.

Meanwhile, spread the pecans on a baking sheet and toast for 4 minutes, until lightly golden; coarsely chop and transfer to a bowl. Increase the oven temperature to 400°.
Score the duck skin in a crosshatch pattern and season with salt and pepper. In a large cast-iron skillet, cook the duck breasts skin side down over low heat until most of the fat has rendered, about 10 minutes. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat. Turn the duck breasts skin side up and add the honey to the pan. Baste the duck with the honey and roast in the oven for 6 to 7 minutes, until medium-rare. Transfer the duck to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in the same skillet, cook the pears over moderately high heat, stirring, until golden, 2 minutes. Add the butter, sherry and remaining 1/4 cup of chicken stock and cook until thickened, stirring to loosen any browned bits, about 3 minutes. Stir in the rosemary.

Thinly slice the duck breasts crosswise. Spoon the quinoa onto 4 plates and top with the duck and pecans. Spoon on the pear sauce and serve.
MAKE AHEAD The cooked quinoa can be refrigerated overnight and rewarmed.

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