Olive Oil Poached Duck with Peach-Ginger Chutney

Yield: 6 main course portions or 60 slices for hors d’oeuvres

The Ginger-peach chutney is another great accompaniment you can make and keep in your fridge for a week or so. It pairs very well with the Chardonnay and duck.

The breast meat of the duck is wonderfully tender and full of natural flavor when it is slowly cooked in olive oil. By using a meat thermometer for this low temperature poaching/frying you can make sure it comes out perfectly. The meat comes out clean with no “fried” taste or texture.

I use this same very simple and foolproof technique for olive oil poaching fish (salmon and halibut) as well.

The trick is to keep the temperature of the oil over 125 degrees but under 140 degrees. The result is tender and flavorful.

To give the duck a bit of texture and some extra flavor, I let it cool in the oil (you can do this the day before or earlier that day) and then saute it quickly for just a few minutes to give it a nicely caramelized look and texture on the outside.

  • 4 ea Duck Breast, brined overnight
  • ¼ cup Ginger-Peach Chutney
  • 60 each Wonton squares, 2” x 2”, fried crisp
  • 1½ cup olive oil

Brine the duck breast overnight (see recipe and instructions below).

Remove duck breasts from the brine and pat dry with a paper towel.

Heat Olive oil in small sauté pan. The level of the olive oil should be enough so the duck breast can be completely covered by the oil when placed in the pan. If needed add a bit more oil.

With your thermometer in the oil, turn the heat to medium low and warm until the oil reaches 150 degrees. Gently place the duck breasts in the oil, making sure the are not touching and they are completely covered by the oil. Cover and occasionally test the oil temperature, adjusting the flame so that oil remains between 125 and 145 degrees.

Cook for 20 minutes or until the middle of the duck breast (in the thickest part) is over 125 degrees. Remove from flame and let the duck cool, covered in the oil until needed.

When ready, preheat a sauté pan with no oil (or pre-heat a grill) to medium high heat. Remove the duck from the oil and allow the excess to drip back into the pan. Saute or grill each breast for approximately 2 minutes per side until they have some color brown color and a bit of texture on the outside. Allow to sit for a few minutes, slice, place on a crisp won ton and top with the Turning Leaf Chardonnay-Ginger-Peach Chutney.


The salt to liquid ratio is very important, so make sure you measure carefully.

  • 1 quart Water
  • 2 Tablespoons Chardonnay
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • ½ cup golden brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • ¼ bunch thyme, fresh

Combine all ingredients, bring to a simmer and strain. Allow to cool in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Place duck breasts in brine and leave to sit overnight.

Ginger-Peach Chutney

Yield: 2 cups

  • ¼ cup  water
  • ¼  cup Chardonnay
  • 1 Tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 ea dried chilis
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 each ripe peaches, skin on, pit removed
  • 1Tablespoon raisins
  • 2 each scallions, thinly sliced on a bias
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground

Place water, wine, vinegar, ginger, sugar, chilis and salt in a small sauce pan and reduce to 1/3. Add raisins and simmer for 2-3 minutes until the raisins are soft and the liquid is starting to thicken.

Meanwhile, leaving the skin on, cup the peaches into 12 wedges and then slice the wedges so that you have small triangles of peach.

Add the peaches and scallions to the ginger-wine mixture and turn heat to low. Gently stir until the peaches are just heated through. Remove form fire and allow to cool.

This should be chilled and then served with the warm or room temperature duck.

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