Pan- Grilled Duck Breast with Chanterelles, Dried Apricots, and Almonds


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen

By Paula Wolfert

Published 2003

  • About

This easy-to-make, slow-cooked duck breast dish pairs beautifully with a garnish of apricot-colored chanterelles and aromatic dried apricots and almonds.


  • ½ pound fresh small chanterelles
  • 1 boneless duck breast (about 1 pound), Moulard or Muscovy (see Note)
  • Coarse salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup rich chicken stock
  • cup diced dried apricots (about 5)
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 15 whole blanched almonds
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives


  1. Early in the day, clean the chanterelles. (The fresher the chanterelles, the easier they are to clean.) Drop the chanterelles into boiling salted water for 2 to 3 seconds; scoop out and dip into cold water to stop the cooking. Drain in a colander. Use paper towels to remove any dirt. Wrap in paper towels and refrigerate.
  2. About 1 hour before serving, remove the duck breast from the refrigerator, rinse, and pat dry with paper towels. Trim the duck breast of excess fat. Wipe the flesh dry and score the skin in a crosshatch pattern without piercing the flesh. Sprinkle the fat side generously with salt and half the pepper. Cover loosely with plastic wrap.
  3. Set a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 teaspoon of the butter and the duck breast, flesh side down, and sear well, about 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons stock to deglaze the skillet and boil until thick. Turn the duck over; season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low and slowly cook the duck breast, fat side down, without turning, for 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large straight-sided skillet set over medium-high heat, sear the chanterelles, stirring, until you hear them squeak, about 30 seconds. Add the apricots, shallot, and remaining butter and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add half the stock and simmer until the mushrooms are just tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  5. Turn the duck breast over and finish cooking on the flesh side. To test for doneness, use your thumb and middle finger to pinch the flesh. If it springs back quickly, it is rare. Remove to a side dish, cover with foil, and allow to rest for at least 5 minutes while the juices settle.
  6. Pour off all the fat from the skillet. Deglaze with the remaining stock. Scrape the mushrooms into the pan and bring to a boil. Heighten the flavor with lemon juice and correct the seasoning. Fold in the almonds and chives.
  7. Thinly slice the breast and fan out the slices on a warmed serving platter. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Serve with the mushroom sauce.