Pistachio 'n Chicharrón Crusted Duck Breast

This recipe stems from when I was first introduced to hunting and gathering by my Dad. From the time I was big enough to tote my Red Rider and tag along with him as we tromped through the woods; I was learning woodsmanship and conservation through his little speeches, stories, and actions.

After high school, I moved away from home to attend culinary school, but moving to the city took me out of the woods- and I’m sad to say made me prioritize my career over going home and carrying on our traditional Thanksgiving rabbit hunts, or mushroom scavenges on the days the spring gobblers weren’t talking. Luckily though, a friend of mine provided the opportunity to get back into the woods when he mentioned interest in getting his license for the first time. With the spark reignited, this past year has been a flurry of hiking trails, hanging stands, talking to toms, and sitting in a handmade blind, hoping some ducks would fly by.

(Recipe submission photo by Chad Gault)

Recipe and Procedures

Pistachio 'n Chicharrón Crusted Duck Breast and Sweet Pea Leaf Salad, tossed with Orange & Lime Marmalade Vinaigrette and drizzled with Gochujang & Bulleit Rye Glaze


For the Sauces:

Gochujang & Bulleit Glaze Recipe:

  • 3 tbl Gochujang Paste
  • 1 tbl Bulliet Rye Bourbon
  • 2 tbl Brown Sugar
  • 1 tbl Water
  • 3 tsp Soy Sauce
  1. Combine Ingredients in a small sauce pan. 
  2. Whisk together over medium heat until the sauce begins to bubble and thicken
  3. Remove from Heat 

Orange & Lime Marmalade Vinaigrette Recipe:

  • 3 tbl Orange Marmalade
  • 2 1/2 tbl Lime Juice
  • 2 tbl Lemon Juice
  • 2 tbl Rice Vinegar
  • 1 tbl Gulden's Spicy Brown Mustard
  • 3 tsp Fresh Thyme Leaves
  • 1 tbl Fresh Lime Zest
  • 2 tsp Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  1. Combine all ingredients except Olive Oil in Food Processor
  2. Pulse the processor until ingredients are well mixed
  3. Turn the food processor On 'High," and slowly pour in the Olive Oil through the chute
  4. Continue to blend 20-30 seconds until the Olive Oil is emulsified
  5. Pour into a small container and refrigerate until serving

For the Duck
Pistachio & Chicharrón Crust: 


  • 2 oz Shelled Pistachios
  • 3/4 oz Chicharróns OR Salted Pork Rinds 
  • 2 tsp Lemon Pepper
  • 2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 tbl Parsley
  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor
  2. Pulse 7 - 10 times to break up the pistachios and chicharróns into smaller pieces
  3. Scrape down the mixture in the food processor, then blend on Low for 20-30 seconds until the crust mixture resembles Panko Bread Crumbs
  4. Remove from the food processor and place in a large enough container to coat the skin side of the duck breasts


Parts and Pieces:

  • 1 - 6 to 8oz. Mallard Duck Breast
  • Gochujang & Bulleit Glaze
  • Orange & Lime Marmalade Vinaigrette
  • 4oz. Sweet Pea Leaves
  • Pistachio & Chicharrón Crust
  • 2 tsp Kosher Salt & 1 tsp Black Pepper for Duck
  • 1-Yellow Bell Pepper (halved & seeded)
  • 2 fl. oz. Olive Oil (For coating the skillet for the duck)
  • 1 tbl. Lemon, Lime and Orange Zest


  1. Thaw the duck either overnight or under running cold water. Once thawed, pat down and sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  3. Preheat a cast iron skillet over medium/high heat
  4. Place the halved yellow bell pepper in the cast iron skillet and begin to roast - turn as necessary to char the outside
  5. In a small saucepan, prepare the Gochujang & Bulleit glaze. Once the sugar has dissolved, remove from heat.
  6. Slightly oil the skin side of the duck breasts
  7. Generously coat the skin side of the duck breasts with the pistachio & chicharrón crust
  8. Evenly sprinkle the salt & pepper on the fleshy side of the duck
  9. Remove the yellow bell pepper from the skillet and set on a cutting board to cool
  10. Add 2 fl oz of olive oil to the cast iron skillet and allow to heat slightly.
  11. Place the crust coated duck breast in the cast iron skillet with the crust facing up.
  12. Remove the cast iron skillet from the stove top, and place it in the preheated oven.
  13. While the duck is cooking, finely julienne the yellow bell pepper, and place the slices in the cooler
  14. Cook the coated duck breast in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the meat reached 120 degrees.
  15. Turn on the broiler in the oven, and roast the duck for an additional 5-7 minutes until the topping is golden brown, and the Duck Breast reaches internal temp of 135 degrees
  16. Remove the duck from the oven, and allow to rest. It will carry over cook an additional 5-10 degrees
  17. Plate by assembling: Glaze, Greens, Sliced Bell Pepper, Dressing, Duck, Zests, as pictured below

(NWTF recreation of Chad's recipe)

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