Petaluma Duck Schnitzel

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Thinly sliced duck breast fried crisp served with a green peppercorn sauce and a fresh risotto.
Recipe By: Chefs Anne and David Gingrass
  • PrepN/A |
  • TotalN/A |
  • ServesMakes four servings


    • for the sauce
    • 2-1/2 Tbls Green peppercorns, drained and rinsed then chopped fine
    • 1 Tbl Fresh shallots, peeled and minced fine
    • 1 each Anchovy filet, minced fine
    • 1/2 tsp Fresh garlic, peeled and minced fine
    • 1 Tbl Capers, drained and minced fine
    • 1 Tbl Fresh dill, chopped fine
    • 1/4 Cup Fresh basil, washed and spun dry then chopped fine
    • 1/4 Cup Fresh Italian parsley, washed and spun dry then chopped fine
    • 1/2 Cup Extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
    • 1 Tbl Fresh lemon juice
    • 1/4 cup Chicken broth
    • for the schnitzel
    • 4 each Large duck breasts, skin off, about one pound (you may substitute pork or veal cutlets)
    • 2 tsp Fresh thyme leaves, chopped
    • 1/2 cup All purpose flour
    • 2 each Eggs
    • 2 cups Fresh bread crumbs (dried will work, but not quite as well)
    • 1/2 cup Pure olive oil
    • to taste Salt and pepper
    • for the risotto
    • 1 Tbl Pure olive oil
    • 1/2 ea Small yellow onion, peeled and diced small
    • 1 cup Arborio rice (must be arborio)
    • 1 Cup White wine
    • 16 oz Chicken broth
    • 1 cup Golden or red beets, cooked volume - about 1 lb. raw weight, boiled until soft, peeled, and grated coarsely
    • 1/4 cup Creme fraiche
    • 1 oz Sweet butter
    • 1/4 tsp Grated orange zest
    • to taste Salt and pepper


For the sauce

Combine all of the finely chopped ingredients in a medium bowl then whisk in the olive oil. After the oil has been evenly dispersed, whisk in the mustard, chicken broth and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside until ready to serve.

For the duck schnitzel

Preheat the oven to 250 F to use as a holding oven. You can also place the plates in to get warm at this time. Next, the duck should be cut and pounded. Butterfly each breast by cutting across its width. Open each breast and place it between two sheets of plastic wrap. Using a meat pounder or the flat side of a cleaver, pound each breast on a smooth surface until it is uniformly 1/4" thick. You may prefer to ask you butcher to do this for you. After the duck has been pounded, sprinkle the thyme leaves evenly over both sides of all four pieces and proceed to breading the meat.

To bread the duck breasts, you will need three separate containers to hold the flour, eggs and bread crumbs. Pie tins work well but any other flat, shallow container will be fine. Crack the eggs into one of the containers and mix them well. Pour the flour and bread crumbs into the other two containers. Season the flour with salt and pepper and season each breast on both sides. Dredge each breast in the flour to cover the meat lightly then place the floured breast into the egg batter. Dredge each breast in the egg batter to lightly coat it then lift it out, allowing the excess egg to drip back into the pan. Place each breast flat into the bread crumbs, allowing the crumbs to adhere then pick it up and turn it over to coat the other side. You may need to press the bread crumbs lightly into the breast to coat it completely. Lift the breaded breasts out of the crumbs and place it onto a flat pan. Repeat with all four pieces.

To cook the duck breasts, heat a saute pan of suitable size over medium heat. Add two tablespoons of olive oil to the pan and heat until hot but not smoking. Place the first duck breast in the pan and cook until golden brown on the first side then turn over and lightly brown the second. Remove the schnitzel to a flat pan with a dry towel to absorb the oil and hold it in the warm oven. Repeat with the remaining three breasts.

For the risotto

Place a suitable pan over medium heat and add the olive oil and the diced onion. Sweat the onion until translucent. Add the rice and stir well with a wooden spoon until all of the grains are evenly coated with oil. Add the wine, four ounces at a time, while stirring over medium heat, until all of the wine is absorbed by the rice. Add the grated beets and continue stirring, making sure to scrape rice grains off of the bottom so the they do not burn. Add the chicken broth in the same way as the wine. When all of the liquid has been absorbed, remove the pot from the heat and add the remaining butter, the orange zest and the creme fraiche. Stir well to incorporate all of the ingredients and add salt and pepper to taste.


Spoon the risotto evenly on to one side of each of four plates. Place a duck schnitzel on the opposite side, overlapping the risotto slightly then drizzle about one tablespoon of the green peppercorn sauce over the schnitzel. Serve immediately.
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