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Sautéed Duck Breast in a Pink Praline Crust, Beets, Intense Mexican Mole Sauce Recipe
Sautéed Duck Breast in a Pink Praline Crust, Beets, Intense Mexican Mole Sauce
Hélène Darroze, Restaurant Hélène Darroze, Paris
Hélène Darroze, Restaurant Hélène Darroze, Paris
Total time: 30 to 60 minutes

Preparation time: 45 minutes
Cooking time: 7 to 8 minutes
Cooling time: 5 minutes

Difficulty: Easy
Chef's Note

Full name
Sautéed duck breast in a pink praline crust, beets, turnips and raspberries, beet and citrus sauce
Intense Mexican mole sauce

Creative context
Perfume maker Thierry Mugler is presenting for the first time his concept of "gourmand perfume," re-conceiving four of his iconic fragrances. Taking this exercise in style a step further and establishing a genuine parallel between haute cuisine and "haute perfumery," Thierry Mugler Parfums invited Hélène Darroze to invent four recipes inspired by the new interpretations of these four fragrances.

She responded by creating a totally "Muglerian" meal, giving free rein to her talent and imagination. Four dishes for a dinner centered on the Taste of Fragrance...

Hélène's Inspiration
My first idea would be a sweet-savory main dish for Angel. Why not pigeon or duck, a darker poultry that goes very well with chocolate… To bring out this main ingredient, I think a Mexican “mole“ would be perfect. The key ingredient of this paste-like specialty is bitter chocolate.
I will stay with something very “gourmand“ to reflect its formula, something that releases many different flavors in the mouth.

Here is a main course that reflects Angel perfume, inspired by childhood memories of its creator.

For 4 servings

Duck breast
- 4 duck breasts
- 100 g (3 1/2 oz.) pink pralines
- 50 g (2 oz.) duck fat
- Salt

- 1 bunch of red beets
- 1 bunch of yellow beets
- 1 bunch of new turnips
- 50 g (2 oz.) butter
- Salt
- Espelette chili

Beet sauce
- 250 g (8 oz.) beets
- Lemon zest cut with a peeler
- Grapefruit zest cut with a peeler
- Orange zest cut with a peeler

The little extra: mole sauce
- 250 ml (1 cup) of the cooking juice from poultry
- 25 g (1 oz.) Mexican mole paste (otherwise, bitter cocoa paste)
- Raspberry vinegar
- Salt
- Espelette pepper

- 30 g (1 oz.) beet sprouts
- 50 g (2 oz.) raspberries

Duck breast

  1. Make very fine incisions into the skin of the duck breasts with a small knife, taking care not to cut the fat all the way through to the meat.
  2. Crush the pralines by wrapping them in a towel. Use the bottom of a heavy pot to crush them so that the pralines “burst“.
  3. Season the duck breasts with salt and Espelette chili. Place them in a very hot pan, skin side down, in a small amount of duck fat.
  4. Cook on high heat for 4 to 5 minutes to sear the fat, which will melt.
  5. Remove the pan from heat and remove the separated fat from the pan, turning the duck breasts over to the meat side. Finish cooking them for 3 minutes in an oven preheated to 350° F (180°C).
  6. Remove from the oven and take the duck breasts out of the pan. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
  7. Finally, dip the skin side of the duck breasts in the crushed pralines and continue to sauté the “skin and pralines side“ for 2 minutes in a very hot pan.


  1. Peel the beets and turnips. Boil them separately in salted water.
  2. Just before serving the dish, melt some butter in a pan and roll the beets and turnips in it to glaze them.

Beet sauce

  1. Use a juicer to extract beet juice. Pour it into a small saucepan with the citrus zest.
  2. Reduce the sauce by ¾ over gentle heat until it becomes syrupy.

The little extra: mole sauce

  1. Melt the mole paste in a small pan, pour in the cooking juice and reduce by 1/3.
  2. Season with salt and Espelette pepper and add a few drops of raspberry vinegar.


  1. Cut each duck breast into 3 pieces and place them on 4 plates.
  2. Arrange the beets, turnips and a few raspberries on a serving plate, then pour a thin ribbon of beet juice over the vegetables and top with beet sprouts.
  3. Taste as is first, then add the mole sauce.
Sautéed Duck Breast in a Pink Praline Crust, Beets, Intense Mexican Mole Sauce 1
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