Duck Poppers

By: The Local Palate
Plate of duck poppers

For acclaimed chef, Brian Landry, duck belongs on every table. At his restaurant, The Kitchen Table in Clermont, Kentucky, he makes this elevated protein accessible for all parties. Duck poppers riff on the classic game day appetizer: a bite-sized crispy exterior bursting with creamy flavor. These poppers balance earthy creole spice with a cooling, herb-infused spread. Drizzled with a tangy, sweet glaze, these duck practically fly off the plate.

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Serves 4

  • 1½ pounds mallard duck breast, skin removed and cut into ¼-inch by 2-inch strips
  • ¼ cup creole seasoning
  • Cooking oil
  • 3 pickled jalapeños, sliced thin
  • 10 slices thick-cut bacon
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 ounces cane syrup
  • 6 ounces sherry or balsamic vinegar
  1. Rub duck with creole seasoning. In a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, add a little bit of cooking oil and sear duck breast strips on one side until a dark crust forms. Transfer duck to a cutting board and let cool. 
  2. Wrap a slice of duck around a slice of pickled jalapeño. Then wrap a piece of bacon around duck. Skewer popper with a bamboo stick or toothpick. Repeat with remaining duck. Set aside. 
  3. In a small bowl, combine cream cheese with thyme and parsley and season with salt and pepper. 
  4. In a small saucepan, combine cane syrup and vinegar. Cook over medium-high heat until mixture is reduced by half. 
  5. Heat a grill to medium-high. Grill duck poppers until bacon is crispy and slightly charred.
  6. To serve, smear some cream cheese mixture in a line on a serving plate. Remove skewers from poppers and place poppers on top of cream cheese. Drizzle with cane syrup vinegar and serve at once.
  • Recipe By
    Brian Landry of The Kitchen Table in Clermont, Kentucky
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