Chef Forum banner

Starchy side dish for duck breast?

23424 Views 17 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  dc sunshine
Any suggestions on a starchy side dish for seared duck breast with blackberry sauce? Rice, noodles, potatoes etc? The flavors in the duck are honey, blackberries, creme de cassis, and seasoned with allspice. Thank you!
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Your blackberry , creme de cassis sounds wonderful for the duck, may I suggest a stuffed apple with coucous ?..... pour la presentation of course et gout.
I like a puree with almost anything well sauced. In this case, at this time of the year: Potatoes pureed with butter, cream and either a little parsnip or rutabaga. I think you were involved in the "use a ricer" thread. Anyway, for a dish this formal you're looking for something very smooth and light which hasn't lost any body. In other words, use a mill or a ricer -- not a food processor, masher or mixer.

A puree of white beans would be very good. That will get the Cuisinart humming.

Sauteed potatoes are never misunderstood.

A mix of wild and brown rices with nuts and herbs is also seasonal and a good pairing with duck. Considering how much is going on with the sauce, keep the herb choice simple. Just tarragon and marjoram would be fine. Sometimes I mix white rice into the mix -- but you have to cook it separately because it cooks so much faster than either brown or wild. I like to use chopped walnuts or pecans to enhance the wild and brown rices' nuttiness.

Another "no brainer" classic: Rice pilaf with almonds. Perhaps a saffron rice. In any case, use a fragrant rice like Thai or aged Indian basmati.

Wild rice on its own is overpowering.

Orzo. Orzo with rice. Orzo/rice pilaf.

Buttered (not too much) and herbed bow-tie pasta.

Chef petal suggested couscous. Her way, plain, or if you desire, served in a mound with chopped parsley, seasoned (but not soaked) with a mix of rice vinegar and lemon -- the pairing of the almost-tabouleh with the duck's sauce would create a sort of gastrique. Nice contrast, but maybe too Mediterranean? With my background it's a trap. With yours -- it's probably a strength. Bears thinking about.

Bulgur wheat -- either plain, buttered; or the warm, restrained tabouleh. I find bulgur wheat works extremely well any time you want something nutty. Speaking of which you could work in some pistachio in bulgur or couscous. Or, the rice for that matter.


Grits would be outstanding. A lot to choose from: Regular, butered grits; baked grits, cheesy grits; fried grits... I'd go with the regular, buttered sort -- consistency, a tiny bit on the stiff side -- like pureed potato

See less See more
I'd definately go for a puree with that. My first choices would be either a Pomate of Parsnips, or a combination of parsnips and rutabaga.
Yes these are great comfort foods.
I was trying to think outside the box, maybe too much ? I have gastrique on the brain among other things.

One can never go wrong with rice pilaf and toasted sliced almonds.

I once served stuffed apples with minted couscous but seeing as how I did not want to take away from le saveur de cassis, blackberry, yes, I agree Chef BDL, a seasoned couscous.

The choices are terrific here and so many......
I'm torn between a wild/brown rice with almonds, or a potato/parsnip puree. Never had rutabaga, wouldn't even know what it looks like to be honest.

Or how about spaetzle? Been craving it but never made it... could it be a day of experiments today?

I plan on rendering the fat from the duck - is that what they call confit?
"Save the duck fat " !
Speaking about duck fat, there is a french Bistro here that serves gourmet french fries cooked in duck fat, it is usally served with steak tartar and homemade mayonnaise...

Oh MY ! Mes battements de coeur.....

It may sound unusual but so tasty !!!
My taste buds say Maple Cinnamon and Allspice whipped sweet potatoes would pair superbly with Duck.

More importantly, what type of wine would you serve with those heavy flavors?

This time of year, a late-harvest reisling, or blueberry fruit wine comes to mind.
I also say spiced sweet potato pouree , but stuffed into a half apple and then baked.
Ding ding ding we've got a winner! This is what I'm doing tonight. For the sake of time and shopping I won't stuff it in an apple like Ed suggested but looking forward to doing it that way in the future. We won't be drinking wine tonight but I do plan to pair it with a very nice sparkling water :p. Thanks ChefTodd!
is that what they call confit?

Not quite, Koukouvagia.

"Confit" means to cook something in its own grease. Traditionally duck was the primary protein done that way.

What you do is save that rendered duck fat. Then, to make a confit of duck, you cook new duck (most often just the legs) at low heat, covered by that fat. Basically you are poaching the duck in oil, at low heat, for a very long time.

Like so many other things in the culinary world, "confit" has been broadened. Now anything poached in oil, but particularly in duck fat, is being called a confit.

I have a lot of problem, though, with things like zucchini confit. I mean, how do you cook a vegetable in its own oil?
See less See more
Never had rutabaga, wouldn't even know what it looks like to be honest.

You might know them as a "Swedes" or as a "Swedish Turnips," which are the names they goes by in Europe.

Rutabagas are large (2-3 times as big as a turnip), turnip-like roots somewhat sweeter than standard turnips, and with a pale orange flesh. The ones you find in supermarkets usually are waxed, to prevent moisture loss.
These are wonderful , peeled , cut into pieces, drizzle with oil , salt and pepper , bake in a 350 oven for 40 minutes. Great to put carrots in there as well.

Has less carbs than a potato I believe

Many chefs make french fries with them as well...........
The duck has probably been done and dusted by now... :)
but a celeriac mash or puree if you prefer with some grain mustard could match it too. Nice hearty autumnal flavours.
Likewise, I know this is too late, but i was thinking of a stuffed pastry...Large Vol-au-vent style. Filled to bursting With veg...little asparagus spears, leeks, sweet potato and mushrooms. The veg is cooked then sauted lightly in butter and wholegrain mustard , piled in and its hat put on top.
It goes so well with anything that already has a sauce.

My other idea was vegetable chips. Parsnips,beetroot, carrots and potatoes are all in season now. They just need deep frying and sprinkling with salt...Scrummy! You really do need a mandolin to get them sliced thinly enough.
Awww you guys have some inspiring ideas. I went ahead and did the puree of sweet potatoes with butter, allspice, and cinammon. I didn't add any honey or molasses or sugar because I prefer it savory. It was fantabulous! I served a mixed leaf salad with it as well and we were very pleased with dinner. Duck fat rendered and into the freezer for future use.

Confit doesn't sound like something I would do well. Sounds like there is a big possibility of whatever I cook to come out too heavy and greasy. I'll leave that to the french restaurants I visit.

Hey, is cooking bacon confit? :roll:Cause I do that all the time haha!
Koukou...if you aren't going to confit, use the duck fat for roast veg., particularly potatoes. MmmmMMM! I've never confited either for fear of all the grease, wonder if anyone has hints on this, altho there's prob been a thread here before I'd guess.

Really glad the dinner went well, there were heaps of ideas there for starches to go with a rich dish, worth saving I reckon.
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.