What Makes Top Chef Stephanie Izard's Duck Breast Recipe Unique

Duck breast recipes are aplenty with a quick search online — even when they come from famous chefs. Chef Thomas Keller hosts a Masterclass session devoted to roasting a duck breast, going through the basic of how to source, prep, and pan-roast a duck and even what to serve as a side. Even Gordon Ramsay hosts a YouTube session on how to cook them, noting that it's delicious and "very healthy," and that it shouldn't be intimidating to cook.

According to Tasting Table, "cooking a perfect duck breast is no more difficult than roasting a chicken." Although they do mention the fat content of a typical duck breast being fairly thick, so it has to be rendered down first. And while most duck breast recipes tend to stick to some more basic flavors, similar to chicken, there is nothing basic about the addition Stephanie Izard makes to her own duck breast recipe.

This simple ingredient can pack a lot of flavor

Many are familiar with miso in its most used form, miso soup, a side order or appetizer at many Asian restaurants. However, miso is a very versatile ingredient, which can also be used in butter, pan sauces, stir frys, and even as an enhancer to panko crust. Working in a similar vein, Izard chooses to add an almond miso butter to her duck breast recipe. 

In a round-up of recipes from contestants of "Top Chef" over the years, Food & Wine found that "after experimenting with miso paste and flavorful Spanish marcona almonds, Stephanie Izard created a delectable nutty-sweet butter that she serves with meaty seared duck breasts." She recommends serving it with bok choy, a common accompaniment to the miso flavor, and pairing it with a Gewürztraminer wine that has a subtle spiciness. Honestly, just reading about it has our mouthwatering.