Duck Breasts with Squash and Sweet and Sour Cabbage

This is a classic Alsatian combinations-- rich duck, creamy squash, and sweet and tangy cabbage.

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4 duck breast
2 medium sized winter squash, cut in half
1 head cabbage any variety, sliced thinly into ribbons
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp brown sugar


  1. Heat oven to 375F
  2. Cut the squash in half and place cut side down on a baking sheet
  3. Bake until the squash is tender and collapses when pushed
  4. Remove from the oven and let cool until cool enough to handle and then remove the seeds and scoop the flesh from skin
  5. Season with salt and pepper and mash to make like mashed potatoes
  6. With a sharp knife, slice the skin of the duck breasts in a diamond pattern, cutting through the skin but not all the way to the meat. This allows the fat to render more evenly and the skin to not shrink unpleasantly during cooking
  7. Season the duck breasts liberally with salt
  8. Place the duck breast, skin side down, in a cold frying pan and then turn on the heat to medium
  9. Allow the duck to cook until the skin is golden brown and the fat is rendered, about 7 minutes
  10. Flip the duck and sear the underside until cooked to medium, 1-2 more minutes
  11. Remove the duck from the pan and let rest in a warm place
  12. Add the cabbage to the frying pan and increase the heat to high
  13. Season with salt and pan fry in the duck fat until the cabbage is soft and just starting to color
  14. Add the brown sugar and vinegar and let reduce by half. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed
  15. To serve: divvy the squash purée across 4 plates, top with a duck breast per person, and then finish with a big pile of the sweet sour cabbage