Recipe Club: Duck Breast With Couscous, Cajun Aioli and Vanilla Pickled Carrots

Sponsored by Club House for Chefs

This seasonal winter recipe is loaded with flavour and unique blends of aromatic spices. Moist duck, fluffy couscous and sweet, crunchy carrots come together to bring you an elegant dish that’s sure to satisfy. This recipe was created for Club House for Chefs by Dennis McDonald, Chef in Miramichi, NB.


Baharat Seasoning

3/4 cup Club House Cumin, Ground
6 tbsp Club House Pepper, Black Ground
6 tbsp Club House Coriander Seed, Ground
6 tbsp Club House Smoked Paprika
6 tbsp Club House Cardamom, Ground Decorticated

Duck Breast

4 duck breasts
Baharat Seasoning (above)
Salt, to taste


1 cup chicken stock
1 cup couscous
1 red bell pepper, brunoise
1 shallot, brunoise
1/4 cup almonds, sliced and toasted
Salt, to taste

Cajun Aioli

1.5 cup canola oil
1 garlic clove
2 tbsps Lawry’s Cajun Seasoning
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 lemon, juiced
1 tbsp water
Salt, to taste

Vanilla Pickled Carrots

1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 tsp Club House Dill Weed
1 tbsp Club House Vanilla Extract, Pure
3 carrots, thinly sliced


For the Duck Breast: Trim the duck breast of excess fat from sides. Score diagonally shallow. Pat dry and season with Baharat Seasoning and a pinch of salt on the fat side. In a non-stick pan heat canola oil on high until smoking. Add the breast skin side down and reduce heat to medium high to render some of the fat out. Flip over and finish in an oven at 400-degrees F until medium (approximately 4 minutes).

For the Couscous: Bring chicken stock (1 cup) to a boil and add couscous. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Once hydrated transfer to a sheet pan and completely cool in the fridge. Heat a pan on medium high with canola oil. Add red pepper and shallot and sauté until translucent. Add couscous and almonds and continue to sauté for a few more minutes. Season with salt.

For the Cajun Aioli: In a medium sized pot add Cajun seasoning, garlic clove and enough oil to coat the bottom of the pot and submerge the spice. Bring to a simmer for 1 minute then remove from the heat and add the remainder of the oil. Allow to cool and infuse for 1 hour. Strain through a thin towel or fine mesh strainer and reserve the oil. To make the aioli place the egg yolk, mustard, and lemon juice in a bowl and while vigorously whisking slowly add the oil infusion until completely incorporated. Season with salt to taste.

For the Vanilla Pickled Carrots: Bring the sugar, vinegar and dill to a gentle simmer. Once at a simmer cut the heat and add the pure vanilla extract. Pour over the thinly sliced carrots and cover. Allow to completely cool in the pickling liquid.

For Serving: Place two piles of warm couscous on the plate in the lower half. Trim the top left and bottom right corners of the finished duck breast so that when sliced on the bias it will lay flat with the cut side facing up. Season the cut side with salt, add carrots and add aioli dots around the plate.

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