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Crispy Skin Duck Breast with Butternut Squash and Apple Bread Pudding

Crispy Skin Duck Breast

Surprisingly easy to prepare, this easy yet elegant duck preparation, with its built-in side dish is perfect for fall and winter.

Recipe courtesy Chef Jon Fortes.

Serves: 4


  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 cups brioche, cubed
  • 1/2 cup granny smith apple, diced
  • 1/2 cup squash, diced
  • 1/4 cup smoked cheddar
  • 4 duck breasts (6 to 8 oz. each, scored on the skin side)
  • 4 oz. smoked bacon, diced and cooked until crispy

Cider Butter

  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup hard cider


Bread Pudding

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease pudding mold with butter.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Add the cream, sage, cider, sugar, melted butter, salt and cinnamon. Whisk to combine. Add the bread, apples and squash, and stir to combine. Pour into the prepared dish, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the bread is well saturated, up to one hour. Bake until the top is golden brown and the center is firm, about one hour. Top with smoked cheese and melt. Remove from oven and drizzle with cider butter (see below).

Cider Butter

  1. Reduce the cider and sugar until it coats a spoon. Whisk in cold butter.


  1. Make approximately six small scores into the skin of the breasts and place in a large sauté pan over low heat. Render the fat for about 15 minutes, discarding it as it accumulates. Then turn up heat to medium high and sear until golden brown. Turn over and cook an additional two minutes, then remove the duck from the pan and allow it to rest for two to three minutes. Cut into very thin slices.
  2. Place on plate next to bread pudding, drizzle with cider butter, and sprinkle bacon pieces over all. Serve with J. Lohr Pure Paso™ Proprietary Red Wine. Enjoy!

Please visit J. Lohr’s Recipes page for additional recipes and pairing ideas.