Duck in Pumpkin Seed Sauce

by Sam Bilton on November 1, 2015 No comments

Serves 4

Duck with Pumpkin Seed Sauce and savoury pan de muerto

Duck with Pumpkin Seed Sauce and savoury pan de muerto

This recipe is an adaptation of Pechugas al Pipiàn in Lourdes Nichols’ The Complete Mexican Cookbook. The original version calls for chicken breasts but I’ve found it works well with duck. Made with tomatillos it is perhaps not the most appealing colour but don’t let that put you off. The finished result is delicious. Should you have any sauce left it’s great in quesadilla’s.

Many thanks to Gressingham who supplied the duck for this recipe and MexTrade for the tomatillos.


  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil plus a little more if required.
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 800g tin tomatillos
  • 12 sprigs fresh coriander
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ¼ ground black pepper
  • Dried oregano
  • 4 duck breasts, skinned
  • A large pinch of sugar
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 50 – 100ml water
  • 100g ground pumpkin seeds plus 1 tbsp to garnish
  • Salt & pepper to season


  1. First prepare the tomatillo sauce (salsa verde). Heat 1 tbsp of the vegetable oil in a deep frying pan or saucepan. Fry one of the onions and one of the crushed garlic cloves until soft but not coloured. While they are cooking place the tomatillos and their liquid, fresh coriander, ¼ tsp salt, ¼ ground black pepper and a pinch of oregano in a food processor. Blitz until smooth then add to the onion and garlic mix. Simmer for around 25 – 30 minutes until the sauce has reduced slightly and has thickened. Reserved until required.
  2. Mix the remaining two crushed cloves of garlic with ½ tsp salt and a large pinch of sugar. Rub this into the duck breasts while you heat 2 tbsp oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Brown the garlicky duck in the oil. Add the remaining onion, chillies, a pinch of oregano and 50ml water. Simmer gently for 30 mins turning the breasts from time to time. Add more water if the pan looks dry.
  3. Add the salsa verde and ground pumpkin seeds. Return to a simmer and continue cooking for a further 20 minutes, turning the breasts frequently. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds just before serving. Serve with rice, refried beans and guacamole.

Duck with pumpkin seed sauce 2

Sam BiltonDuck in Pumpkin Seed Sauce

Related Posts

Take a look at these posts

Join the conversation