seared duck

Seared Duck Breast

from Graft Wine + Cider Bar

Yield: 2 Servings

Seared Duck Breast

seared duck

This is the seared duck breast dish from Graft Wine + Cider Bar in our Finger Lakes episode! Don't get intimidated because it's duck; it's actually a forgiving cut to cook because of the thick layer of fat!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Additional Time 1 day
Total Time 1 day 55 minutes


  • 1 lb duck breast 
  • 4 Tbsp quince chutney or jam (can sub similar, fig or apricot would work)
  • 1 cup broccoli in bit sized pieces (tender tops only)
  • EVOO

Dry Rub

  • 1/2 Tbsp fennel seed
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1/2 Tbsp cumin seed
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 1/2 Tbsp coriander seed
  • 1 Tbsp whole peppercorn 
  • 1 Tbsp salt 


  • 1 cup dry polenta 
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary 
  • 3 cup chicken stock 


  1. Grind dry spices (except salt) with mortar and pestle or spice mill. (Alternatively, buy spices already ground). Mix in salt, zest of orange and lime.
  2. Score fat side of duck breast in criss-cross pattern. Cut in half length wise for 2 portions. Season with dry rub.
  3. If possible let sit on wire rack in fridge overnight (otherwise, skip this step).
  4. Polenta: Bring all ingredients to boil. (For creamier polenta, use less chicken stock and more cream). Reduce low, cover, and simmer for around 30 minutes, until grain is corn is cooked and creamy. Salt and pepper to taste. *If letting duck rest overnight, make polenta 1 day in advance, dump in small cake pan, and store in fridge for firm polenta. If not, make at same time as searing duck for creamy polenta. You can also cheat and buy pre-made firm polenta in a tube.
  5. Pre-heat oven to 400°. Add duck skin side down to cold cast iron, turn on heat to medium high, cook about 10 minutes. As fat begins to render out, add triangle wedge of polenta to pan (if polenta was done day in advance). In 5 more minutes, flip polenta and duck and transfer to oven until internal duck temp is 135°, about 4 minutes.
  6. As duck cooks in oven, add broccoli to small nonstick pan with EVOO (lemon or lime infused if you have it) and cook on medium high for 2-3 minutes. Add splash of water and cook a few minutes more until cooked but still crisp. Salt to taste.
  7. Plating: Let duck rest for a few minutes, then slice at a 45 degree angle. Plate with polenta, broccoli, and a few dollops of chutney on each plate. Get creative with the plating! Sprinkle a little finishing salt, and enjoy!


Riesling's acid cuts through the fat of the duck, and the orange flavors so common in Riesling really contrast well with the spiced duck. Our Silvan Riesling from Fox Run is rich enough to stand up to this dish perfect.

2018 Fox Run "Silvan" Riesling

Comments 2

  1. This was sooo delicious! Made it exactly as described (polenta and spice rub for duck prepared at cookinf time, not in advance). The spice rub on the duck really makes this dish. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe!

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