Duck Breasts with Persimmons

Duck Breasts with Persimmons

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  • 2 boneless duck breasts, trimmed of excess fat
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup sliced shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup diced Fuyu persimmons
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey, or to taste
  • Splash of white wine or champagne vinegar
  • 4 cups arugula, frisee or other bitter greens
  • 2 tablespoons chopped, toasted hazelnuts (optional)


Place a large, cast-iron pan over medium heat. Score duck breasts by cutting through skin in a crisscross pattern, without cutting meat. Season with salt and pepper.

Place duck breasts skin side-down in the hot pan. Cook until fat is rendered and skin is crisp, about 10 minutes, draining fat from the pan as necessary. Turn breasts over and cook to the desired doneness, 5 to 10 additional minutes. Remove duck to a warm platter and let rest at least 10 minutes before cutting diagonally into 1/4-inch-thick slices.

Meanwhile, remove all but 1 tablespoon rendered fat from the pan. Increase the heat to medium-high and add shallots and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until shallots are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in persimmons and thyme and cook for 2 minutes. Add orange juice, honey and vinegar; cook until sauce reduces slightly, 2 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve sliced duck over greens, drizzled with sauce and sprinkled with hazelnuts.

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