This recipe was submitted by Joshua Sasser of Deville, Louisiana. Sasser hunts a mix of dabblers and divers on central Louisiana's famous Catahoula Lake. Living near the heart of Cajun country, he created this winning recipe as an alternative to the local duck gumbo. Makes 6 servings.


For brine:

  • 1 gallon water
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 10 tablespoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons cilantro, minced
  • 1 tablespoon pickling spice
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

For glaze:

  • 1 12-ounce jar apricot jam
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle peppers in adobo, seeded and finely diced
  • 6 duck breast fillets

Preparation and Cooking Instructions

  1. To prepare brine, stir together water, honey, dark brown sugar, salt, cilantro, pickling spice, onion powder, and garlic powder. Carefully check duck fillets to remove any shot from the meat. Place fillets in brine and store in refrigerator for a minimum of 6 hours but preferably overnight.
  2. To prepare chipotle-apricot glaze, add jam and diced peppers to a saucepan and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes. Strain if desired.
  3. Remove duck fillets from brine and pat dry. Cook fillets over a hot grill until medium-rare, about 3 minutes per side. To achieve grill marks, move meat as little as necessary. Just before removing fillets, lightly baste both sides with glaze.
  4. Allow fillets to rest for a few minutes prior to slicing. Slice fillets at an angle and drizzle reserved glaze over the meat. Garnish with cilantro or scallions. Serve with wild rice or any other favorite side dish.