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What to serve with duck breasts?

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I was thinking of cooking duck breasts for my girlfriend as a Valentine's meal. Initially I was thinking of serving them with mashed (pureed) potatoes and a cherry/wine sauce but then I thought - why not send the question out to my fellow hounds?

Any suggestions as to what to serve with pan seared duck breasts?

Thanks in advance, Mike

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  1. Anything with wild rice. Here's a recipe for a wild rice and cherry salad that I've made as a hot pilaf. You can serve it hot or at room temp. depending on your mood/preference.

    Wild Rice Salad with Dried Sour Cherries
    1/2C wild rice
    5C chicken stock
    4 slices bacon, coarsely chopped
    3/4C dried sour cherries
    1 rib celery, diced
    1 scallion, trimmed and chopped
    Leaves from 5 sprigs parsley, chopped
    2T red wine vinegar
    Salt and pepper

    Put rice in medium pot, cover with water and swish around with your hand. Drain and repeat until water remains clear, 4 more times. Drain completely and return rice to pot. Add stock and bring to boil over high heat. Stir rice once or twice and reduce heat to medium-low. Partially cover pot and cook rice until grains are swollen and tender but not blossomed, 50-60 minutes. Dran in colander and let rest, undisturbed, for 10 minutes. Transfer to large bowl to cool.

    Cook bacon in medium skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer bacon and 2T of the bacon fat to bowl with rice. Add remaining ingredients and toss well. Serve at room temperature.

    OR...don’t let rice cool, and serve this hot as a pilaf...yum!

    Serves 4

    1. Pommes Anna. And a slightly bitter sauteed green vegetable to cut the richness.

      1. I'm making a mango salsa to go with some fish tonight (just mango, red onion, and lime juice) and I can't get that Geico commercial out of my head-- the caveman who says he'll have the duck breasts with the mango salsa--
        sounds pretty good to me-

        1. i love lentils as a side dish with duck. the black belugas are very pretty. although i usually make duck legs, i think pomegranate molasses as a glaze works wonderfully.

          i find fruit with meat kinda 80s.

          1. Wyf4lyf must have had similar dining experiences!
            For Duck, my favorite sidedish is a wild rice Napa cabbage slaw that, like wyf's, can be served hot or cold.

            1c Wild rice
            4c Water
            2 slices bacon, cut into lardons (1/4" segments)
            3c Shredded Napa cabbage (1/4 of a head, sliced into 1/4" strips)
            2 cloves garlic, minced
            1Tbsp Sage, chiffonade (finely chopped)
            2Tbsp Sherry vinegar (I've used cider, but sherry works best!)
            1Tbsp butter

            Rince wild rice and add to 4 cups heavily salted water, bring to a boil uncoverd, then simmer for 45 minutes covered or until about half of the grains have popped open. Drain and set aside,
            In a large sautepan, render the bacon lardons over medium heat until crisp, remove and reserve. Begin to saute the cabbage in the rendered bacon fat (add some olive oil if needed- or just use more bacon!) when it begins to soften, add in the garlic. When you can smell the garlic, add in the wild rice and stir through to warm the rice. Add back in the bacon, deglaze with the sherry vinegar, toss in the sage, and finish with the butter. Excellent fresh and hot or chill it out and serve it cold.
            I think your initial impulses are excellent Merixon, but go ahead and make the meal slightly more luxurious with cerery root mash infused with truffle oil instead of just potatoes!

            1. Love the wild rice idea.

              I love mashed sweet potatoes or mashed butternut squash with duck breasts.

              1 Reply
              1. re: JoLi

                I was going to say a sweet potato or butternut squah dish too!

              2. Herbed risotto. I don't like the mashed potatoes idea. But wild rice is a god suggestion. maybe with pecans and cranberries

                1. If the duck has a cherry sauce, i'd go with couscous and stemed broccoli as sides.
                  Ifthe duck has an orange sauce i'd try a wild rice pilaf with some chopped walnuts and roasted asparagus.

                  dessert, go for a wow and make individual molten chocolate cakes with vanilla ice cream.

                  1. I like duck with red wine sauces too, I add mushrooms or blackcurrants or blackberries though, but that's because I only like cherries fresh. They are often served with mash a some kind of green veg. You could do some kind of rosti or hash thing with the potatoes in place of the mash. I think cranberries are pretty good with duck too.

                    1. I love duck with steamed buns, scallions and hoisin sauce, even if it isn't made peking style.

                      1. My favorites for serving with Duck, depending on the way the Duck is prepared, are:

                        Kasha, the rich nuttiness contracts well with the sweetness of the Duck. I first had that combo in a very fine restaurant.

                        Wild Rice, again the nutty crunchiness offers contrast to the sweetness. 100% Wild Rice, not the mix.

                        Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage is traditional in Middle European cuisine.

                        Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Apples, or Roasted Butternut Squash.

                        I also like to serve Bitter Greens like Arugala , Chard, or Kale .

                        I have never like Potatoes with Duck.