Thursday, October 25, 2012

Guajillo Chile-Crusted Duck Breast with a Tamarind Cherry Port Sauce

Guajillo Chile-Crusted Duck Breast with a Tamarind Cherry Port Sauce
by Sarah Kwan

Guajillo Chile-Crusted Duck Breast:
2 Muscovy duck breasts (or other large duck breasts; the ones I used were just under a pound each)
2 medium Marx Foods guajillo chilies
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
4 corners of star anise
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Toast the guajillo chiles in a dry pan over medium heat for 6-7 minutes, then grind in a spice grinder with allspice, coriander, star anise, and salt.

Remove any silver skin (silvery-white membrane) that may be on the underside of the duck breast. Score the skin of the duck in a diamond pattern and pat the duck breasts dry with a paper towel, then rub all over with spice mix. Let sit for about 1/2 hour before cooking.

Heat a cast-iron skillet on high for 1 minute, then cook the duck breasts to your desired doneness. Watch carefully so that the skin doesn't get burned. I cooked mine skin side down for 7 minutes, then flipped them over and cooked for 5 min. A great guide for cooking times and basic instruction can be found here. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Tamarind Cherry Port Sauce:
1 Tablespoon tamarind pulp
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup diced onion
1 cup port
3 Tablespoons butter, divided
2 Tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
black pepper

In a pot, melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Sauté the onions until golden, add 1/2 cup of port, dried cherries and tamarind pulp, simmer until the cherries are soft and the port is slightly reduced. Blend. Return to the pot and add remaining 1/2 cup port, honey, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, stir in 2 tablespoons of butter, then strain in a fine mesh sieve.

Pictured served with green beans and mashed rutabagas.


  1. This recipe was delicious! The duck breast was tender and succulent, and complemented nicely by the rich sauce. I wasn't very familiar with tamarind before, but I'll be incorporating it in future recipes. Thanks for posting this, Sarah Kwan!

  2. Thanks for the nice compliments on this dish -- Sarah Kwan always has amazing dishes and fabulous presentation! Glad you liked it!