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Duck Mac and Cheese

Duck Mac and Cheese with Gruyère and Thyme

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Months ago, Chef Giuseppe started dreaming of a "quack mac and cheese"—creamy, cheesy noodles with duck—and we're so excited that it's finally gracing our tables. Browned duck is stirred into a French shallot, thyme, and Gruyère sauce, then tossed with spiraled gemelli noodles and baked under a crispy breadcrumb lid. A tangle of peppery arugula brings greenery, and even more fancy vibes.

    Serving size
    Prep & cook time
    Cooking Skill
    By Chef Giuseppe

    By Chef Giuseppe

    • Calories 850
    • Protein 60g
    • Total Carb 83g
    • Total Fat 30g

    Given the cook-at-home nature of Plated and natural variation in ingredients, nutritional information is approximated. See details.

    Ingredients & Equipment

    What we send

    • ground duck
      • 12 ounces
      • ground duck
    • thyme
      • 1/8 ounce
      • thyme
    • shallot
      • 1
      • shallot
    • gemelli
      • 6 ounces
      • gemelli
    • unsalted butter
      • 1 packet
      • unsalted butter
    • flour
      • 2 tablespoons
      • flour
    • milk
      • 8 ounces
      • milk
    • shredded Gruyère cheese
      • 2 ounces
      • shredded Gruyère cheese
    • panko breadcrumbs
      • 3 tablespoons
      • panko breadcrumbs
    • baby arugula
      • 1 ounce
      • baby arugula
    • aluminum tin
      • 1
      • aluminum tin

    What You’ll Need

    • olive oil
    • kosher salt
    • black pepper
    • 8" medium pot
    • 10" medium high-sided pan
    • baking sheet

    Cooking Steps

    1. Brown duck

      Brown duck

      Preheat oven to 475ºF. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat. Pat duck dry with paper towel. Heat ½ tablespoon olive oil in a medium high-sided pan over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add duck and season with ½ teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. Cook, breaking up, until browned, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer duck to a plate; reserve fat in pan, off heat, for Step 4.

    2. Prepare ingredients

      Prepare ingredients

      While duck cooks, rinse all produce. Strip thyme leaves, discarding stems. Peel shallot, halve, and thinly slice. Reshape aluminum tin if bent, then place on a baking sheet for Step 5—this will help stabilize the pasta for easy transfer to the oven and even cooking.

    3. Cook gemelli

      Cook gemelli

      Season boiling water generously with salt. Stir in gemelli and cook until al dente, about 7 minutes. Reserve ¼ cup pasta cooking water (it's easiest to reserve this water in a liquid measuring cup, if you have one). Then, drain gemelli and set aside.

    4. Make cheese sauce

      Make cheese sauce

      Return pan with duck fat to medium-high heat and add butter. When butter is foamy, add shallot and sauté, stirring, until softened, 2-3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add flour; cook, stirring, until flour is lightly browned, 1 minute. Whisking continuously, add milk and cook until thickened, 2-3 minutes more. Remove pan from heat. Whisk in thyme, half of Gruyère, ¼ teaspoon salt, and pepper to combine.

    5. Bake mac and cheese

      Bake mac and cheese

      Return browned duck to pan with sauce, still off heat. Add cooked gemelli. Toss to coat. Adding 2 tablespoons at a time, stir in reserved pasta cooking water until sauce is silky and clings to noodles. Transfer pasta and sauce to tin; spread in an even layer. Sprinkle over remaining Gruyère, then breadcrumbs. Transfer sheet to oven; bake until cheese is melted and breadcrumbs are golden brown, 14-16 minutes.

    6. Plate duck mac and cheese

      Plate duck mac and cheese

      Take a mini break to set the table or pour yourself a well-deserved drink. After 10 minutes of pasta baking, pat arugula dry with paper towel and place in a small bowl; toss with 1 teaspoon olive oil, ⅛ teaspoon salt, and pepper as desired. Divide duck mac and cheese between serving plates, and pile arugula on top. Enjoy!

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