Smoky Duck Tacos with Bing Cherry Sauce

Rev up your next taco night with a little something different!

You’ll Need

1 pound duck breast

2 teaspoons chipotle chili, ground

1 teaspoon cumin, toasted and ground

1/4 teaspoon salt to taste

2 cups Bing cherry sauce ( recipe below) 

12 street taco sized corn tortillas, lightly grilled

Red cabbage and carrot slaw ( recipe below) 

8-12 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

Here’s How

Pat the duck breast dry with a clean paper towel. Score the skin in a crosshatch pattern without cutting into the flesh. This technique will help render the fat and yield crispier skin. 

In a small container, mix all the dry spices until well combined. Rub the mixture onto the duck breast. Place into an airtight container and pop into the cooler for a minimum of 30 minutes up to overnight. 

Remove from the cooler and allow the duck to come close to room temperature, about 30 minutes. 

Place the duck breast skin-side down into the oil-free, room temperature pan. Cook the duck until the skin is nice and crispy about 3-5 minutes. When the ends begin to curl, press with your tongs or weigh down the center to ensure continual contact. Most of the cooking process should be completed skin side down to reveal a delicious crunch. When the sizzle begins to quiet, flip, and continue cooking until the duck reaches your desired internal temperature — about 1-2 minutes for small ducks and 3-4 minutes for medium ducks. 

Remove to a cutting board and allow the duck to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

While the duck is resting, remove the excess fat from the pan, reduce heat, and add the cherry sauce to warm through and deglaze the pan of any additional flavor left behind.

Assemble the tacos with grilled corn street tortillas, slather cherry sauce, top with sliced duck, red cabbage, carrot slaw, and top of goat cheese and your favorite microgreens. 

Smoky Fresh Cherry Sauce 

You’ll Need

3 cups very dark, fresh Bing cherries, pitted

1 large chipotle chile packed in adobo, rough chopped

1/2 small white onion, rough chopped

1 clove garlic

1 small pinch cayenne

1 pinch cinnamon to taste

1 pinch allspice to taste

1/2-1 teaspoon brown sugar or honey

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon orange juice

1 orange, zested

Salt to taste

Here’s How

In the bowl of your food processor combine all the ingredients except for the brown sugar or honey and hold back 1 cup of the cherries. Blitz until everything is liquified. Add the additional cup of cherries and blitz a few seconds but do not liquify. Place the sauce into a medium, high-sided saucepan. Heat on medium-low until mixture begins to reduce and thicken. Adjust seasoning with brown sugar and salt. Serve warm or cold. 

Red Cabbage and Carrot Slaw

You’ll Need 

1/2 small head red cabbage, very finely shredded

1 large carrot, peeled and cut very fine Julienne

1/2 purple onion fine Julienne

1/4 cup cabernet wine ( optional ) 

1/2 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons mild-tasting rice wine vinegar

1 teaspoon lemon, juiced

1/2 – 1 teaspoon maple syrup

Salt and pepper to taste

Here’s How

Add all ingredients in a large bowl. Toss to coat. Allow the slaw to sit in the cooler for about 30-60 minutes. Remove, place slaw in a serving bowl and garnish with poppyseeds right before serving.  


Published by Chef Gigi Gaggero, Host of Silicon Valley's LIVE Food Talk Radio on KSCU 103.3 FM

Professional Chef, Two Time Award-Winning Book Author, Former Academic Director from Le Cordon Bleu, and Host of Silicon Valley's LIVE Food Talk Radio on KSCU 103.3 FM

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