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Duck Breast on Quinoa with Beets

  • Preparation : 30 minutes
  • Cooking : 30 minutes
  • Portions : 6
poitrine de canard sur quinoa


  • 4 Brome Lake duck breasts
  • 670 ml (2 2/3 cups) Brome Lake duck stock or chicken broth
  • 375 ml (1½ cups) quinoa, rinsed
  • Seasoned salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Maple syrup
  • 3 shallots, sliced
  • 2-3 beets (different colors if possible) cooked, peeled and cut into small pieces
  • Olive oil
  • Juice of ½ a lemon


  1. In medium saucepan, simmer the broth over medium heat. Add the quinoa, mix and cover. Once it begins to boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer 12-15 minutes or until the broth is absorbed. Do not overcook. Immediately remove the saucepan from the heat and set aside, uncovered.

  2. Preheat oven to 190° C (375° F) or see Tips & tricks section for BBQ cooking method.

  3. Score the skin of the duck breasts in a crisscross pattern without cutting into the meat. Season both sides of the breasts with seasoned salt and pepper and set aside.

  4. Heat a large ovenproof skillet on low heat. Add the duck breasts, skin side down, and cook gently on medium heat without touching them for 8 to 10 minutes. If necessary, remove melted fat from pan during cooking. Turn the breasts over, place the skillet in the oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until an internal temperature of 58° C (137° F) is reached. The breasts should be moderately firm to the touch and still pink inside.

  5. Remove the skillet from the oven and drizzle the duck breasts lightly with maple syrup. Cover loosely with aluminum foil. Let rest for 5 minutes.

  6. Meanwhile, add the shallots and beets to the quinoa in the saucepan and sprinkle generously with olive oil. Add lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix well then serve the quinoa salad on long rectangular plates.

  7. Slice the duck breasts on the diagonal and arrange the slices on the bed of quinoa salad. Drizzle with juices from the skillet and serve immediately.

Recipe developed by Nicolas Vallée, professional chef

Tips and tricks

On the barbecue: 12 minutes

  • Preheat barbecue to high on one side only.
  • Grill duck breasts over direct heat (side with burner on) for 1½ minutes, starting with skin side down and turning once.
  • Continue cooking over indirect heat (side with burner off) with lid closed, skin side down, for 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Finish cooking over direct heat with lid open for about 2 minutes.
  • Remove breasts from grill and let stand for about 3 to 4 minutes under a sheet of aluminum foil to give meat fibres time to relax. Slice and serve.

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