Duck Hearts On Toast

The perfect snack for the cook who has just prepared five ducks.  The hearts have an amazing ducky quality.

My wife and I had been on the lookout for duck hearts for months with just no luck.  We figured that our Asian market, where we regularly pick up fresh duck legs, would eventually come through.

Boy, did they ever!  Mr. Henderson mentions in the ingredient list that five hearts are fine, but that in an ideal world to use as many as one could muster up.  My wife actually called me when she found them, knowing that I’d be excited with just a few.  I believe that I  jumped up and down when she informed me that she had more than thirty!

After I had gotten over my initial shock and jubilation, I put a cast iron skillet over a high flame with a big knob of butter and all of the duck hearts.  I let the butter melt completely and rolled the hearts around in it for a few minutes.

Next up was a big splash of balsamic vinegar, followed by some duck stock and salt and pepper.  This was another one of those “letting the ingredients get to know each other” moments, so I left them to their own devices for a few moments before removing the hearts and reducing the sauce.

Now, I already know what people are going to say:  That looks boring!  It’s drab and brown and unappealing!  You won’t get any arguments from me on the aesthetics of this dish.  I mean, Mr. Henderson even mentions in the description that this is the perfect snack for a cook in the kitchen.  From everything I’ve seen in a kitchen, cooks just don’t worry about the extra little garnishes when they’re working on their own food.  I decided to keep it as close to what you would find on a cooks plate as I could.

Duck hearts do in fact have a very ducky taste to them. I have found that this also is true to chicken hearts, as they taste strongly of chicken.  I suppose this phenomena happens with the hearts from all animals.  The balsamic stock sauce was nice and rich,  with a slightly tangy and sweet flavor.

Duck hearts, folks!  They aren’t just for prep cooks any more!

One down, ninety one to go.

12 thoughts on “Duck Hearts On Toast

  1. That looks boring! It’s drab and brown and unappealing! :). Just kidding. It actually looks pretty tasty. Ah, hearts and balsamic vinegar just go so good together. Last time I had duck hearts was a few weeks ago. I had bought two ducks to roast/smoke on my grill. I marinated the hearts and gizzards with garlic, balsamic and rosemary and grilled them over charcoal on rosemary “skewers” as a quick treat with Arugula while the ducks slowly cooked. Damn fine eating.

  2. Wow, duck hearts and gizzards on a rosemary skewer sounds really tasty. I think I’m going to give that a shot next time I find duck hearts. Thanks enassar!

  3. I feel possessive about duck hearts! After cutting up ducks for confit, fat, etc., I eat them myself, sharing only if my wife or kids happen to be in the kitchen! But, if I had a tub of hearts, I guess I’d share. I prepare mine the same way, too – I didn’t know anyone except Paula Wolfert bothered writing a recipe for duck hearts.

  4. pganey, I feel much better now knowing that I’m not alone with my love of duck hearts. Thank you!

    Also, I just got back to an internet connection, so I apologize for the late reply.

  5. Thank you so much for this. I have a friend that started raising ducks last year and I have taken on the challenge to use every teeny bit of what I can. The hearts was a bit of a problem and I have so many of them. How about stuffing them with a bit of liver mousse before flash frying in some cognac?

    Also take the necks out of the skin and stuff with combinations of meat and peppers for the fire…

  6. Duck hearts are incredible when on kebab skewers over a BBQ. Real tasty with a nice red wine sauce to dip them in too.

    mmmmm my mouth is watering now!

  7. I can’t find duck hearts or gizzards in South Florida! ): I’m so sad… I’m still trying but it looks bleak. I have eaten one heart in my life so far- I cooked it confit. So good! The gizzards are wonderful that way too… do you have any tips on sourcing innards? I’ve contacted Culver Duck in Indiana to see if they would be willing to ship some bags of both to me but haven’t heard back yet.

  8. I live in San Francisco and have been attempting to source duck hearts for about a month now. It is sounding like I may need to have them shipped to me since none of the amazing asian markets are currently carrying them. Awesome you found so many!
    I first tried them at a restaurant nearby me called Alembic and they paired the sautéed hearts on a skewer with really thin slices of pineapple. I have to say it was pretty amazing and added a good sweetness. Best of luck!
    -Kyle

    • if you’re still looking for duck hearts in san francisco – I just ordered a pound of them from Avedanos butchers on Cortland Avenue in Bernal Hearts. It was my first visit, and I just ate a delicious crepinette from there as a snack and it was mighty good!

  9. Hey, guys, come to Hungary! Here we make stew of duck heart (and also pork heart or chicken heart) with or without paprika. Mainly with paprika. :)
    And it costs around 1 USD/pound at the food markets :P

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