1 rating

Cinnamon Scented Duck with Bacon Sautéed Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potato Purée Recipe


Heirloom's Cinnamon Scented Duck

This cozy autumnal dish from Chef Michael DeMaria at Heirloom Restaurant in Scottsdale, Ariz., combines the spicy warmth of cinnamon with cripsy duck breast. Served alongside crunchy Brussels sprouts and smooth sweet potato puree, this meal is great for impressing guests.

Click here for the From Idea to Plate: Developing a Recipe story.


For the duck:

  • Four 7-8 ounce duck breasts
  • Pinch of cinnamon

For the brussels sprouts:

  • 1/4 cup bacon, diced
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and outer leaves removed
  • 1-2 cups chicken stock

For the sweet potato puree:

  • 1 pound yams
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup half and half


For the duck:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Clean all of the excess silver skin and fat off the bottom and sides of the duck breast, and sprinkle with cinnamon. Start in a sauté pan on medium heat to render down the fat of the breast. Finish in the oven for 8–12 minutes or until medium pink.

For the Brussels sprouts:

Start a sauté pan on medium heat, add chopped bacon and begin to render. Once halfway rendered (half of the fat is released from the bacon), add oil and sprouts. Lightly caramelize the sprouts and then add chicken stock. The stock will start to reduce while it cooks the sprouts and infuse them with flavor. Continue to cook until the vegetables are fork tender.

For the sweet potato puree:

Place a thick bottomed pot onto the stove over medium high heat. Add oil, and put in the yams, onion, and garlic clove. Sauté for 3–4 minutes, until everything starts to caramelize. Add butter and brown sugar. Once butter is melted, add the brandy carefully (remove from flame, brandy will ignite). Once the flame stops, add chicken stock and braise the yams over medium heat until tender. Transfer ingredients from the pot into a blender and puree. Add half and half at the end to give it some body. Finish with fresh grated nutmeg.