Pechuga de Pato en Salsa de Oregano Fresco (Duck Breast in Fresh Oregano Sauce)

The best American name for this vegetable would probably be “Mexican green tomato”, but they actually taste nothing like regular tomatoes, In fact, the tomatillo is not a tomato at all. The tomatillo has a tart, lemony flavor that is enhance when cooked (especially roasted) and is an excellent base for salsas. While salsa (salsa verde) is the most popular way to enjoy tomatillo, they can be used in other ways. Tomatillos contain high amounts of vitamin A&C. Tomatillos are our #2 sales item!

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4 duck breast halves, with skin
2 Tbsp. water


2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small white onion, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound tomatillos, husks removed, chopped
2 chipotles in adobo, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup chopped fresh Mexican oregano
salt to taste


To prepare the duck:

Preheat an oven to 400F and score the duck breasts with a small, sharp knife. Place the water in a large skillet over high heat and add the duck breast halves, skin side down. Cook until the water has evaporated and some fat has been rendered from the duck, and the skin is seared and golden brown.

Place the duck breast halves on a baking sheet and place it in a preheated oven. Bake the duck breast until a meat thermometer measures 145F for medium rare, or more for well done. (The FDA recommended temperature for duck is 170F, but many restaurants prefer to serve it less well done.)

To prepare the sauce:

Heat the butter and oil in a saucepan, then add the onion and cook until transparent. Add the garlic and continue cooking until soft but not brown. Add the tomatillos, chipotles, sugar and stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Remove the sauce from the heat and add the fresh oregano. Allow the sauce to cool, then put it in a blender and puree until smooth. Add salt to taste and reheat the sauce when you are ready to serve.

To serve:

Slice duck breast halves and serve slices fanned out on top of the sauce, or serve the sauce on top of unsliced breast halves.

Yields 4 servings.

Recipe from El Restaurante Mexicano, June 2007.