Chef Mike Pagliarini
Mike Pagliarini




Chef Mike Pagliarini
Via Matta | Boston, MA

Muscovy Hen Breast with Turnips, Rhubarb, Swiss Chard, and Spiced Pistachios
Chef Mike Pagliarini of Via Matta – Boston, MA
Adapted by
October 2009

Yield: 2 Servings


Muscovy Hen Breast with Turnips, Rhubarb, Swiss Chard, and Spiced PistachiosSpiced Pistachios:
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ cup shelled pistachios

Muscovy Hen Breasts:
2 6-ounce Muscovy hen breasts,
skin on
1 tablespoon chopped thyme

Swiss Chard:
¼ cup olive oil
5 thin slices garlic
1 bunch Swiss chard

2 bunches hakurei turnips

2 stalks rhubarb, thinly sliced on the bias
¼ cup red verjus
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

To Assemble and Serve:
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
Red verjus


For the Spiced Pistachios:
Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Combine the sugar, water, and cayenne and bring to a simmer. Add the pistachios and simmer for 4 minutes. Strain the mixture, reserving the syrup, and spread on a non-stick baking pad. Roast the pistachios in the oven until light golden brown and crunchy. Season and chop the nuts roughly. Store in a tightly-sealed container at room temperature.

For the Muscovy Hen Breasts:
Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Score the skin side of the duck breasts in a cross-hatch pattern. Season both sides of the breasts. Put the breasts skin-side down on a sauté pan and allow the fat to render from the skin. Remove the excess rendered fat from the pan and sear the breasts until golden brown. Add the thyme and baste the flesh side of the breasts. Transfer the duck to the oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until medium-rare. Let the breasts rest for 10 minutes in a warm area before slicing.

For the Turnips:
Bring the turnips to a simmer in salted water. Cook until the turnips pierce easily with the tip of a paring knife. Cut the turnips into quarters.

For the Swiss Chard:
Heat the olive oil, add the garlic, and season. Add the Swiss chard leaves and a splash of water. Cover and cook briefly over high heat until the leaves are wilted. Remove the pan from the heat.

For the Rhubarb:
Season the rhubarb with the red verjus and a drop of the pistachio syrup. Add the olive oil, and season.

To Assemble and Serve:
Reheat the duck in the oven. Warm the turnips in seasoned butter. Slice the duck. On a warm platter, arrange the turnips and Swiss chard. Top with the duck and arrange the rhubarb and pistachios over the slices of duck. Season with salt, olive oil, and verjus.

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   Published: October 2009