Roast Duck Breast with Dumplings and Bacon-Wrapped Green Beans
For a flame-cooked twist on Entenbrust mit Knödel, a classic German dish of duck breast with dumplings, this recipe from Bavarian grilling enthusiast Dominic Stettner is one to try. Using fresh, high-quality ingredients will make the standout flavors of this dish pop — from fresh asparagus spears to succulent, organic duck breasts. The bacon-wrapped green beans add a salty kick to the tender duck breasts, which are served with an earthy root vegetable sauce that's heated with butter for a velvety finish.
Tradition holds that the duck breasts are served with potato dumplings (Kartoffelkloesse). Soft and filling, potato dumplings are the ideal feel-good comfort food; even better, they’re easy to make at home. Made from butter, flour, eggs, and mashed potatoes, the ingredients are such staples, you probably already have them all on hand. If you’re in a pinch, store-bought packets of instant potato dumpling mix are a quick and effective substitute. (If you’re based outside the EU and instant boxes aren’t as readily available, try visiting your local specialty grocery or an online European store.)
1 hour 30 minutes total
Serves 4 as a main
For the sauce
3 ½ ounces (100 milliliters) dry red wine
2 tablespoons (30 grams) vegetable broth
4 ¼ cups (1 liter) water
1 cup (100 grams) celery, chopped into 2-centimeter chunks
⅔ cup (100 grams) apple, chopped into 2-centimeter chunks
¾ cup (150 grams) orange, chopped into 2-centimeter chunks
1 cup (125 grams) leek, chopped into 2-centimeter chunks
50 grams carrot, chopped into 2-centimeter chunks
60 grams onions, chopped into 2-centimeter chunks
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 bunch chives, finely chopped
1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
1 bunch rosemary, finely chopped
2 tablespoons (25 grams) butter, cold
1 tablespoon (17 grams) soy sauce
2 tablespoons (16 grams) cornstarch
¼ cup (60 grams) cold water
For the duck
4 duck breasts
1 teaspoon (5 grams) sea salt
2 teaspoons (5 grams) freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon (21 grams) honey
2 tablespoons (25 grams) butter
For the potato dumplings
2 large potatoes, boiled and mashed
1 stick (113 grams) butter
1 cup (120 grams) all-purpose flour
Sea salt, to taste
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 packet (750 grams) instant mashed potato dumpling mix
For the green beans
8 slices bacon
2 cups (300 grams) green beans, ends trimmed
Fire up your Ooni pizza oven to its lowest setting, using a charcoal bed if cooking with wood, and aim for 320°F (160°C) on the baking stone inside. Use the infrared thermometer to accurately check the temperature.
Add all sauce ingredients (except for the butter, soy sauce, cornstarch and cold water, which will be added later) to the baking dish and cook uncovered for 30 minutes, turning the pan 180 degrees halfway through.
In the meantime, season the meat side of the duck breasts with salt and pepper, then cut a diamond pattern on the fat side using a sharp knife. Season the fat side with a generous pinch of salt, massaging it in with your fingers.
Add the seasoned breasts to the sauce with the fat side up and cook for another 30 minutes, turning the pan 180 degrees halfway through.
Strain the sauce and reserve the liquid in a small saucepan. (You can discard the vegetables or use them to make a healthy, warming soup). Over low heat on your stovetop, stir in the cold butter, soy sauce and cornstarch. Keep at a low simmer.
In the meantime, prepare the potato dumplings: Bring a pot of salted water to boil. In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, salt, pepper and eggs, and mash until combined. Sift in the flour and stir just until it disappears. Do not overmix the dough. Form the mix into 8 round portions in your palm. Drop the dumplings into boiling water and simmer for 20 minutes, flipping the dumplings halfway. Strain the cooked dumplings and set aside. (If using an instant mix, cook per the instructions on the packaging.)
Wrap bacon slices around bundles of 5 to 6 green beans each and set aside.
Increase the temperature inside the oven to 355°F (180°C). Place the meat and bacon-wrapped beans in the empty baking dish and cook for 5 minutes in the oven. In a small bowl, heat the honey and butter in the microwave at 20-second intervals until combined, then use the mixture to brush the meat and bacon-wrapped beans.
Turn the pan 180 degrees and return to cook for another 5 minutes. Repeat the previous two steps until you achieve the desired degree of browning.
Ladle enough sauce into 4 shallow bowls to completely cover their bottoms (or, if you prefer, transfer the sauce to a gravy boat so guests can serve themselves). Slice the duck breasts, retaining their shape, and transfer each to a bowl. Garnish each with two dumplings and two bundles of green beans and serve.