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U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council

Blueberry Salted Duck
Blueberry Salted Duck

Blueberry Salted Duck

Blueberry salt is very simple to make and easily worth the effort. With freeze-dried blueberries, the flavors are fully intact and all of the sugar has been dried and crystallized. Adding blueberries to salt creates an innate balance. The sweet and salty seasoning is perfect for vegetables, lettuces, poultry, beef, game and even chocolate.

Blueberry Salt is featured in this roasted duck dish with blueberry jus for an entrée that is complex in flavor but refined in presentation.

Recipe created by Chef Jamie Simpson, The Culinary Vegetable Institute.

Ingredients

Duck Breast with Blueberry Jus

  • 2 magret duck breasts
  • 1/4 cup neutral oil, such as grapeseed
  • 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces celery, thinly sliced
  • 6 ounces purple carrots, thinly sliced
  • 2 red beets, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • One 750 ml bottle dry red wine, such as Bordeaux
  • 5 cups gelatinous farm stock or chicken stock
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into cubes and cold
  • 3 ounces dried blueberries

Roasted Leeks

  • 4 leeks, dark green parts removed
  • Salt

Mashed Potatoes with Chervil and Duck Fat

  • 2 pounds small yellow potatoes
  • 1/3 cup warm milk
  • 1/2 pound unsalted European butter
  • 1/4 pound rendered duck fat
  • Chervil leaf chopped and whole
  • Salt to taste

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce (30g) freeze dried blueberries
  • 1 ounce (30g) sea salt

Preparation

Instructions

  1. Trim off any excess fat from the duck breast and any visible silverskin. Shallowly score the skin side and let the duck stand at room temperature while you make the sauce.
  2. In a wide, deep skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat until shimmering. Add the onion, celery, carrots, and beets and cook until well browned and even blackened in spots.
  3. Add the wine and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until reduced by half. Add the stock and bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and cook until the vegetables are soft. Strain the sauce into a clean pan and cook over high heat until the sauce is reduced to about ¾ cup. Remove from the heat.
  4. When the duck breasts are at room temperature, put them in a cast-iron or other heavy skillet skin side down and set over low heat. Render the fat until the skin layer is thin, lightly browned and until somewhat crispy. Turn off the heat, use a large spoon to drain off most of the fat, and flip the breasts. Reserve the fat to cook potatoes. Insert an instant-read thermometer into one of the breasts and allow the meat to come up to about 128°F for medium rare. Transfer the breasts to a work surface.
  5. When you’re ready to serve, set the same skillet used to cook the duck over medium high heat. When hot, add the duck skin side down and cook until the skin is deeply browned. Return to the work surface.
  6. To finish the sauce, bring it to a simmer. Add the butter, one cube at a time, waiting for it to melt and incorporate before adding another cube. Add the dried blueberries and cook until tender.
  7. Cut each duck breast in half lengthwise. Spoon the sauce in lines on the plates. Arrange the duck breast on top and garnish as desired.

Roasted Leeks

  1. Light a fire with hardwoods or charcoal and allow to burn until there’s no active flame. Alternatively, heat a gas grill to medium heat.
  2. Leave the roots attached to the leeks and clean well in the seams where soil can get in. Nestle the leeks directly in the charcoal and cook, turning occasionally, until evenly and deeply blackened. (If you are using a gas grill, grill them on the grates.) When the leeks start to burst slightly and release steam from the sides, transfer to a bowl or baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap; let stand for 15 minutes to help them tenderize.
  3. Remove the blackened outer edge of the leek. When you’re ready to serve, halve each leek lengthwise and reheat gently in a covered pan until warm.

Mashed Potatoes with Chervil and Duck Fat

  1. In a large pot, submerge the potatoes in heavily salted water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer until fork tender.
  2. Drain the potatoes and cut them in half. With the skin on, press them through a wire tammis or very fine sieve with a bowl scraper. Return to the pot.
  3. Cook the potatoes over low heat, stirring, with a rubber spatula to let some of the excess water evaporate. Gradually add the milk, stirring to incorporate. Increase the heat to medium and add the butter and duck fat, one cube at a time.
  4. Finish with chopped chervil. Season the potatoes somewhat aggressively. Serve immediately or keep warm and garnish with chervil leaves.

  1. With your fingers or a spice grinder, grind the freeze-dried blueberries to match the level of coarseness of the blueberries to the salt. For finer salts, use a spice grinder, for coarse salts, flake between your fingers.
  2. Store in a resealable airtight container with desiccant packs.