TC Recipe: Cumin Scented Duck Breast with Corn Flan and Huckleberry Gastrique

November 13 2011

By Special Events Chef Sean Winder
Suggested Pairing: 2009 Domaine Pinot Noir Block 4A
Serves 4


It is fall in the Willamette Valley. The last of the huckleberries are trickling down from the Cascade foothills and the fowl are heading south to a warmer climate. The corn harvest is in for the season. The smell of Pinot Noir fermenting in the winery is an indicator that it is time to share in the bounty of the season. What better way to do so than removing a cork from a tasty vintage of Pinot Noir and sharing in a feast of duck, huckleberries, and harvest corn. I am glad Sean employed the use of cumin in this recipe because it brings forward the earthy flavors of the Pinot Noir. The toasty nature of cumin also reflects the dry smell of leaves falling from the oak and maple trees around the valley. The flan provides a way for the flavor of the food to grip the palate. The gastrique provides a bridge of wild fruit for the wine while cutting the rich flavor of the duck. Enjoy.

-Benjamin Nadolny, Sous Chef


  • 4-5oz duck breast, Muscovy or Moulard
  • 2 tsp cooking oil
  • 1 tsp cumin, toasted and ground
  • salt and pepper to taste
    Huckleberry Gastrique

  • ½ C Pinot Noir
  • ¼ C sugar
  • ½ T water
  • 1 ½ T sherry vinegar
  • 1 C huckleberries
  • ½ tsp salt
    Corn Flan

  • 1 C corn kernels
  • 2 T shallots, minced
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ½ C heavy cream
  • 3 egg yolks, large
  • ½ T salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper


Score the duck breast skin and season with salt, black pepper and toasted cumin. Sear the duck breast skin side down over medium heat in oil, slowly cook until the skin is crispy. Turn the duck and repeat on the other side until cooked to desired temperature. We recommend medium-rare.

Huckleberry Gastrique
Bring wine to a simmer in small sauce pot and reduce by half. Add sugar and water and stir until sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Add huckleberries and vinegar to the reduction and continue to cook until the sauce is reduced by half. Add salt.

Corn Flan
Sauté corn and shallots in olive oil until tender. Add cumin and turmeric, cook until the spices are incorporated. Place corn mixture into blender, add heavy cream, egg yolks, salt and pepper and blend until smooth. Pass the mixture through a fine mesh strainer or chinois, discard the solids. Bake the mix in buttered soufflé cups in water bath at 300° for 20 minutes or until the flan begins to pull away from the edges of the dish.

Plate the duck with the corn flan and drizzle with huckleberry gastrique. Enjoy!