Skillet-Cooked Duck Breast with Beets and Watercress

  • Serves

    serves 4

  • Cook

    1 hour 30 minutes


Chef Gavin Kaysen of Spoon and Stable in Minneapolis likes to grill the duck for this recipe, but a skillet works just as well at home. The black rice is an incredible dish simply on its own.

Featured in: North Country Fare by Matt and Ted Lee


  • 1 12 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 8 whole baby red and yellow beets
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup black rice (
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 duck breasts
  • 14 cup honey
  • Watercress, for garnish


Step 1

Heat oven to 350°. Toss 1 tbsp. oil, the vinegar, whole beets, salt, and pepper in a baking dish and cover tightly with foil; roast until tender, about 45 minutes. Cool slightly, then peel and cut into 1⁄2-inch wedges; keep warm. In a 4-qt. saucepan, bring stock, rice, butter, shallot, and salt to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, until liquid has been absorbed and rice is tender, about 30 minutes. Season flesh side of duck with salt and pepper. Place duck skin-side down in a 12-inch skillet; heat over medium-high. Cook, without turning, until fat is rendered and skin is crisp, 5–6 minutes. Flip duck; cook, basting with honey, to desired doneness, about 3–5 minutes for medium-rare. Transfer duck to a cutting board; let rest 10 minutes before slicing in half lengthwise. Toss watercress with remaining olive oil, salt, and pepper. To serve, divide rice between plates; top with duck, beet wedges, and watercress.

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