Smoked Duck Breast with Spiced Cranberry Chutney

Pair with Paso Robles Zinfandel

Yield: 6-8



  • 1½ quarts water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups salt
  • 2 fresh bay leaves, torn
  • 1 yellow onion, quartered
  • ½ ounce fresh thyme
  • 5 cloves garlic, cracked
  • 1 gallon ice

Smoked Duck Breast:

  • 12 duck breasts, cleaned
  • 1 recipe brine

Spiced Cranberry Chutney:

  • ½ teaspoon cumin, ground
  • ½ teaspoon ground dry ginger
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 4 pieces orange zest, ½” x 2″
  • 1½ cups of orange juice
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries



  1. Bring all of the ingredients with the exception of the ice to a rolling boil
  2. Whisk well to ensure that the salt and sugar are dissolved
  3. Pour the brine over ice to cool
  4. Stir well to ensure that all of the ice is melted


  1. Place the duck breasts in a non reactive container and cover with brine
  2. Weigh the duck breasts down with a plate and refrigerate the brining meat for 2 days
  3. Remove the duck breasts from the brine and gently rinse under cold running water. Make sure to rinse the duck to the point where you no longer feel a syrupy residue, then gently squeegee (with your hand or the dull side of a chef’s knife, run it firmly along the skin until moisture appears, wiping off the moisture, repeating until the moisture no longer appears) any additional water from the duck breast
  4. Dry the duck breasts thoroughly with paper towels and lay out on a sheet tray lined with parchment, skin side up
  5. Place the sheet tray in the refrigerator and refrigerate the duck breasts uncovered for 12 hours
  6. Preheat a smoker to 150F fueled with cherry wood chips
  7. Lightly grease the trays of the smoker with the pan spray
  8. Lay the duck breasts, flesh side up, on the smoking trays and place in the smoker
    Smoke for 3 hours
  9. In the last fifteen minutes of the duck breasts smoking, preheat the oven to 350F
  10. Remove the duck breasts from the smoker and transfer to the oven for 7-10 minutes until they reach a temperature of medium
  11. Remove the duck breasts from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature prior to refrigerating


  1. Combine spices, orange zest, and orange juice in saucepan with a heavy bottom
  2. Reduce over medium heat until orange juice is slightly thickened
  3. Add sugar and continue cooking until syrupy
  4. Add vinegar and cranberries; cover and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes
  5. Serve at room temperature. The chutney will also keep well in the refrigerator

To Serve

  • Crostini, made from Sourdough Baguette
  • Smoked Duck Breast, sliced
  • Maldon Salt
  • Chervil
  • Put a dollop of chutney followed by a slice of duck breast on the crostini. Garnish with maldon salt and chervil.


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