'Jambalaya MRE' Risotto with Duo of Duck

A pre-packaged combat ration doesn't usually inspire adoration from those who eat it, but Chef Mike Williams' Jambalaya Risotto with Duo of Duck made with a Meals Ready to Eat package may just change your mind.


See how Meals Ready to Eat, pre-packaged, sterilized combat rations, are made in "Natick and Fort Lee," the first episode of "Meals Ready to Eat." Watch now.

for duck
2 duck breasts; boneless
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

for risotto
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons. olive oil
¼ cup duck confit
1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
½ cup white wine, dry
3 cups chicken stock, warmed
2 tablespoon garlic
1 cup Parmesan and Idiazabel cheese
¼ cup celery; chopped
¼ cup red bell pepper; chopped
¼ cup yellow onion; chopped

for smoked tomato jus
8 ounces smoked tomato pulp (or fire roasted tomatoes)
dark poultry stock; 2 duck and chicken carcasses
½ cup shallots
2 tablespoons sage
2 teaspoons thyme
¼ cup peppercorns
1 tablespoons brown sugar
¼ cup sherry vinegar
2 teaspoons ground espresso

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Jambalaya Risotto with Duo of Duck | Carla Choy



1. Heat a large shallow saucepan to medium heat and add oil and butter.
2. Once butter is melted add garlic, celery, bell pepper and onions and cook for 2 minutes or until fragrant.
3. Add rice and stir to infuse aromatic flavors.
4. Add wine to deglaze.
5. Cook until the wine is almost totally evaporated, about 3-4 minutes.
6. Start adding warm broth one cup at a time, adding each cup as the previous cup is almost evaporated.
7. Continue adding broth, while stirring rice until rice is al dente; about 20 minutes.
8. When ready to serve, remove from heat and add cheese and duck confit. Warm through. 


1. Season duck breasts with salt and pepper to taste.
2. Heat a heavy cast iron pan to medium-high heat and add olive oil.
3. When oil starts to smoke, add duck breasts, skin-side down and cook for 3-4 minutes; until duck is medium.
4. Remove pan from heat and flip duck to lightly heat other side. Breasts should be relatively firm, like the inside of your palm.
5. Once duck is cooked, let rest on cutting board for 2-3 minutes. 

smoked tomato jus
1. Prepare the dark poultry stock by simmering 2 roasted duck and 2 chicken carcasses with carrot, onion and celery in water until it is rich with collagen. Strain. 
2. Fortify the sauce by adding additional poultry scraps that are browned in a pan along with shallots.
3. Deglaze the pan with smoked tomato pulp and cooked down to a paste,
4. Add the dark poultry stock and the herbs and peppercorns.
5. Reduce for several hours until it is thick and glossy and the flavors are very concentrated.
6. Once reduced, add the espresso, sugar and vinegar to taste. Strain through a chinois/fine mesh sieve before service. 

to plate
1. Spoon risotto onto plate (it should sit upright but fall when you shake it).
2. Slice duck breast from rib side down to skin side and place slices on risotto.
3. Spoon smoked tomato jus over the duck and add 3-4 cherry tomatoes around the plate. Serve immediately

Enjoy this recipe? Get the downloadable recipe booklet from "Meals Ready to Eat" with this link

All images: Jambalaya Risotto with Duo of Duck | Carla Choy


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