Sugarcane-Smoked Duck Breast and Confit Leg

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Recipe by Chef Bingo Starr

New Orleans Catholic Creoles break the fast of Christmas Eve with a large meal after midnight mass; a tradition called "Reveillon." This Reveillon recipe comes from Richard "Bingo" Star, executive chef of Restaurant Cuvée in New Orleans.


4 whole ducks, leg quarters removed; breasts deboned
Wet cure (for 8 breasts):
1 cup cane syrup
1 cup water
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup kosher salt
2 tbsp. Creole seasoning

Dry cure for confit:
(8 leg quarters)
2 cups olive oil
2 bay leaves
6 springs fresh thyme
6 cloves garlic, smashed
2 tsp. cracked black pepper
2 tbsp. kosher salt

For the risotto:
2 tsp. garlic
2 tbsp. shallots, minced
2 cups arborio rice
4 cups chicken or duck stock
1 tsp. fresh thyme
2 tbsp. Roquefort
2 tbsp. Parmesan
1⁄2 cup roasted pecan pieces
4 tbsp. scallion, chopped
Salt, pepper, and Creole
seasoning, to taste
2 tbsp. olive oil

For the reduction:
2 cups cane syrup
2 cups demi glace
Salt and pepper, to taste

For the foie gras:
8, 1-oz. slices foie gras
Salt and pepper, to taste


1. In bowl, combine syrup, water, brown sugar, salt, and seasoning. Add breasts, marinate for three hours. Rinse breasts; cold smoke for 1 hour. Sear duck fat side down; finish in oven.

2. Place duck legs in cake pan. Add the rest of the dry cure (oil should cover about 2⁄3 up leg). Cover and cook at 250°F for 3-4 hours.

3. To prepare risotto, sauté garlic and shallots in olive oil. Add rice and toast slightly. Add bay leaf and thyme. In three stages, add stock, stirring each time until liquid is absorbed. After stock has been added, fold in cheese and pecans.

4. For reduction, simmer ingredients in pot until mixture thickens; season.

5. Season foie gras; sear on both sides until golden brown. Remove from pan; reserve on absorbent cloth.

6. To plate, mound 1 cup of risotto in center of plate. Lay confit leg against the rice with drum leg up. Slice duck breast thin; fan around leg. Drizzle with reduction; top with foie gras.

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