smoked duck breast with savoy cabbage and apples

December 14th, 2006

This dish seemed to create itself when I brought home the main ingredients. Cabbage and apple were meant to be together, and smoked duck breast is the sultry femme fatale. Who knew that food could have a ménage à trois?

Those little specks of red are not paprika, but rather sumac, a tart spice made of dried sumac berries. Typically used in Middle Eastarn cuisine, sumac lends an exotic flavor to this Hungarian-inspired dish. Its bright sourness is a foil to the sweetness of the cabbage and apples, and the fatty duck.

smoked duck breast with savoy cabbage and apples

bacon fat
1/2 large or 1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced into crescents
1 savoy cabbage, sliced into thin ribbons
1 medium apple, any kind, but preferably a little tart, cored and thinly sliced
1 smoked duck breast, thinly sliced
salt and pepper to taste
garnish: sumac (or lemon juice), and parsley

  • Place a large skillet or wok on a medium to low flame, place some bacon fat into the pan.
  • Sauté the onions in the skillet. Meanwhile, place a smaller cast-iron skillet on a medium high flame. Melt some bacon fat in the skillet.
  • Fry the apple slices in the smaller skillet until golden brown on both sides. You’ll want to fry the apples in batches so as not to crowd the pan.
  • Once the onions have turned golden, add a handful or two of cabbage and stir. Cook for a minute and stir again. Then add another handful or two and repeat. Continue until all the cabbage has been added. You want to incorporate the cabbage with the onions and bacon fat without lowering the overall temperature of the cooking vegetables too much. This will also result in varying textures in the cabbage, some will turn out a little more crunchy, and some a little softer. If the pan starts to get dry, add more bacon fat.
  • As the apples finish cooking, add them to the cabbage onion mixture. Turn off the flame if most of the cabbage has just turned bright green. You want at least some of the cabbage to be somewhat al dente.
  • Fry the sliced duck breast in the skillet in which you fried the apples. Both sides should be slightly carmelized at the edges. Turn off the flame and add duck breast to cabbage mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Serve with buttered broad noodles or fettuccine.

Serves 3-4

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