Savory Duck Confit Cheesecake Bites with Caramelized Balsamic Onion Jam

Savory duck confit cheesecake bites with carmelized balsamic onion jam

Student Grand Prize 2012 Chef Recipe Contest, Charlie Stephens


  • 1

    16 oz Cream Cheese, softened, room temp

  • 2

    11 oz Goat Cheese, softened, room temp

  • 3

    4 oz Sour Cream

  • 4

    3 large Eggs, whole

  • 5

    2 large Egg Yolks

  • 6

    9 Sage Leaves

  • 7

    1/8 cup Fresh Thyme, chopped

  • 8

    2 Tbsp Fresh Rosemary, chopped

  • 9

    1/2 bag Seasoned Croutons

  • 10

    3 cups Roasted Almonds

  • 11

    1 Maple Leaf Farms Whole Duck

  • 12

    3 Tbsp Dried Thyme

  • 13

    1 Tbsp Dried Rosemary

  • 14

    1/8 cup Salt

  • 15

    1 Tbsp Black Pepper

  • 16

    1 Tbsp White Pepper

  • 17

    1 large White Onion, chopped

  • 18

    1/2 cup Dark Balsamic Vinegar

  • 19

    1/2 cup Brown Sugar



  • 1

    Combine cream cheese, goat cheese, and sour cream in a small mixing bowl. Mix on low speed until cheeses are broken up and mixed with the sour cream.

  • 2

    Turn the mixer to medium speed and add eggs one at a time until incorporated. Turn mixer off.

  • 3

    Fold in the herbs and chilled duck confit; set aside in the cooler.


  • 1

    Place 1/2 bag of seasoned croutons in a food processor along with the roasted almonds and pulse until broken up small. The oil from the almonds should be enough to pack the crust together so there is no need for additional oil or butter. You need almost a paste-like consistency.

  • 2

    Set crust mixture aside.

Duck Confit

  • 1

    Cut the thigh and leg portions from the whole duck keeping the breast and wings for later use.

  • 2

    Place the thigh and leg portions, along with the skin and fat from around the neck in a one gallon zippered storage bag.

  • 3

    Add the herbs, salt and pepper and close the bag, getting as much air out as possible. If you have a steamer this is ideal, however if you don’t, get a 2 gallon pot and add enough water to cover the storage bag, keeping in mind you will have to add water throughout the cooking process.

  • 4

    Boil or steam the duck in its own fat for 2 hrs.

  • 5

    Set aside to cool.


  • 1

    Add the onion to a 2 quart sauce pan with a little oil (less than 1 tablespoon) over medium low heat and caramelize, stirring occasionally.

  • 2

    Meanwhile, in a small 1 quart sauce pan, add the 1/2 cup dark balsamic and the 1/2 cup of brown sugar and bring to a boil.

  • 3

    When the vinegar begins to boil, reduce heat and simmer until a syrup forms. You will be looking for a "sap-like" thickness.

  • 4

    When the onions are caramelized and the desired thickness is reached in your balsamic reduction, add the onions to a food processor along with the balsamic reduction and pulse until a paste forms about 30 seconds.

To Finish

  • 1

    Coat the mini muffin pan(s) with cooking spray. Place 1 tablespoon of crust mixture into each slot. Pack down with your finger.

  • 2

    Using a number 30 scoop, fill each muffin holder with the cream cheese batter and bake at 325 degrees for 20-30 minutes, checking after 25 minutes as these cook faster than traditional cheesecakes.

  • 3

    Let cool for 10-15 minutes and remove from pan.

  • 4

    Place six 1 ounce cheesecake bites on a plate and top each bite with a dollop of balsamic onion jam.

*Serve over a bed of spring mix for color or on a decorative plate


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Rating Summary
Prep Time: 1 hr
Cook Time: 3 hr
Ready Time: 4 Hours
Servings: 40 - 1 oz. servings