Laurie Proffitt
Spice-Lacquered Duck Breasts with Baby Turnips & Turnip Greens
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Spice-Lacquered Duck Breasts with Baby Turnips & Turnip Greens

Andrew Zimmerman, Sepia, Chicago / September 2012

For 4 servings


  • 2 oranges, zested and juiced
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsps. Thai fish sauce
  • 2 Tbsps. honey
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 4 whole star anise
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 Fresno chile, seeded and minced
  • 1 Tbsp. coriander seeds, crushed
  • 1 Tbsp. fennel seeds, crushed

Bring all ingredients except coriander and fennel seeds to a boil in large pot; reduce by 50 percent; remove from heat; strain through fine chinois; stir in coriander and fennel; reserve (keep warm).


  • salt
  • black pepper, freshly ground
  • 4  7-oz. boneless duck breasts, skin scored
  • 2 Tbsps. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 16 baby turnips, blanched, uncooked top greens removed and reserved
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 2 Tbsps. unsalted butter
  1. Heat oven to 350°F.

  2. Season duck breasts; place skin-side down in cold sauté pan; set over medium heat; cook, pouring off fat that melts as it comes up too high on sides of duck, until skin is well browned and crisp (about 7 minutes); remove from heat.

  3. Place duck breasts skin-side up on wire rack set inside baking sheet; brush with glaze; roast until instant-read thermometer registers 127°F for medium-rare (about 5 minutes); remove from oven; reserve (keep warm).

  4. Heat oil in a sauté pan set over medium heat; add garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until oil is flavored but do not let garlic brown; add turnip greens; season with salt; cook, stirring, just until wilted; add turnips, stock, and butter; cook, stirring occasionally, until turnips are heated through and butter and stock have glazed vegetables; remove from heat; reserve (keep warm).

  5. To serve, slice duck breasts; arrange slices of breasts on each serving plate; arrange turnips and turnip greens to one side.

What to drink: Schnaitmann Lemberger QbA Trocken Würt­temberg 2008