Richard Pearson’s Duck Rarebit

The name of this recipe implies that it was created by Richard Pearson, Executive Director of the Illinois State Rifle Association. Not so. Richard requested, perhaps half-heartedly, that I create this recipe just for him. I can always use a little inspiration. This recipe doesn’t follow the usual “fast and hot” rule for cooking duck breasts. It’s better suited for slow-cooked whole ducks or duck parts. The meat needs to be cooked long enough so that the meat can be easily pulled off the bone, like a pot roast.

Richard Pearson’s Duck Rarebit


The Ducks

  • 3 – 4 ducks split in half lengthwise
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 onion quartered
  • 3 carrots chopped
  • 4 celery stalks chopped
  • 2 cups chicken broth

The Rarebit

  • 1 pound cheddar cheese
  • 6 ounces whole milk
  • 3 ounces flat ale
  • salt pepper and cayenne pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse-grained mustard
  • 4 thick slices of toasted French or sourdough bread


  • Rub ducks liberally with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in a heavy roasting pan with onion, celery and carrots. Place uncovered in a preheated 400 degree oven for 45 minutes, turning contents occasionally until well browned. Add chicken broth, cover, reduce temperature to 375 and roast until meat pulls easily off body, about 2 hours more. Allow to cool and pull meat off carcass. Keep meat warm.
  • Melt cheese in the top of a double boiler. Add milk and beer, a little at a time while stirring, until sauce is smooth. Season to taste with salt, pepper and cayenne. Stir in mustard. To serve, place duck on toast and top with cheese sauce.

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