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Makes 8 servings.


• 4 duck breast fillets (8 to 10 ounces each), trimmed and scored 

• 1/2 cup  5-spice powder
• 3 tbsp chimayo chile powder or ground red pepper
• 1 cup  dry red wine
• 1/4 cup  olive oil
• 1/2  bunch whole sprigs fresh thyme
• 1/4 cup  honey

Ginger-Pear Sauce
• 4  fresh California Bartlett pears, peeled, cored and sliced
• 1/4 cup  minced ginger root
• 2  cloves garlic, minced
• 1/4 cup  butter
• 1/4 cup  lemon juice
• 1 tbsp lemon zest
• 1/4 cup  light brown sugar
• 1/4 cup  light soy sauce
• 1/4 cup  hot water
• 1 tbsp cinnamon
• Salt and pepper to taste

Southwestern Polenta
• 1  red onion, chopped
• 2 tbsp chopped fresh ginger root
• 1 tbsp vegetable oil
• 1 ½ cups instant or regular polenta
• 4 cups chicken broth or water
• 1 ½ tbsps  light brown sugar
• 2 tbsps  butter or heavy cream optional


Chile oil and chopped scallions, for garnish

Place duck breast fillets in shallow pan. In small bowl, combine ingredients for marinade; mix well and pour over duck. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight, turning once or twice.

For Ginger-Pear Sauce: Sauté‚ pears, ginger and garlic together in butter until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add lemon juice and zest, brown sugar, soy sauce, hot water and cinnamon. Simmer 5 to 15 minutes or until pears are very tender. Turn into blender or food processor container and process until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

For Southwestern Polenta: In large kettle, sauté‚ onion and ginger in oil. Add polenta and stir in cold broth. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly, and cook as indicated on package. Add brown sugar and butter; stir until creamy. Keep warm.

To serve, drain duck breasts; salt and pepper to taste and grill or sauté‚ on medium-high heat until crispy and golden brown, turning once. Place in pan in oven at 450° F for 5 to 10 minutes to finish cooking. Let rest for 5 minutes; slice. Place small mound of polenta in center of plate. Fan slices from 1/2 duck breast around it and spoon Ginger-Pear Sauce in remaining plate space. Garnish with chile oil and chopped scallions.

California Pear Advisory Board -
Recipe created by Chef Ming Tsai, Santacafe, Santa Fe, New Mexico


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