Duck with Herbes de Denver Aioli

Herbes de Provence is a blend of flavorful spices, supposedly popular in France.  (Unfortunately, I can’t verify its popularity from firsthand experience, but I would sure love to one day.  I would also like to test the theory that champagne tastes better in Paris.)

There seem to be as many recipes for herbes de Provence as there are Paleo food blogs but generally,  the blend contains rosemary, thyme, lavender, savory, marjoram, fennel and some other spices.

My recipe today calls for herbs de Denver.  If you try to Google herbes de Denver, you won’t find it.  I made it up.  So let me be the first to tell you about it.  Herbes de Denver is a blend born of herbs de Provence and nurtured by the Colorado sunshine.  Or, in regular English, it’s a spin off on herbes de Provence based on the spices I got in my farm share.

I tailored the proportions to my spice preferences.  You should feel free to adapt the blend to your own.  If you change out a spice or even just tweak the amount of an herb, feel free to rename it for your town too.  If it’s really good, use the comments below to share your recipe for herbes de Omaha or herbes de Tallahassee.

Duck with Herbes de Denver Aioli

Basil, fresh chopped, 1 teaspoon

Sage, dried, 1 teaspoon

Summer savory, fresh chopped, ½ teaspoon

Marjoram, fresh chopped, ½ teaspoon

Thyme, dried, ½ teaspoon

Lavender, fresh chopped, ¼ teaspoon

Salt, ½ teaspoon

Paleo mayonnaise, 2/3 cup*

Duck breasts, 4

(Optional: Kale, one bunch, chopped)

  1. Combine all spices to create the herbes de Denver blend.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of the spice blend into the mayonnaise and stir together.  Put the remainder of the herbs into an air tight container for use some other time.
  3. Cook duck breasts in skillet over medium/high heat for about 10 minutes per side until breasts are browned and meat is done.  (You can test for this with a meat thermometer, making sure they have an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees.)
  4. If you want to make this a full dinner, now’s the time to add a bunch of kale into the pan.   It will cook down quickly in the duck fat and taste delicious.
  5. Remove duck and kale from pan and drizzle with aioli.  Put extra aioli on the table so people can add more!

*There are many recipes for Paleo mayonnaise.  The one that I use is from the blog, The Clothes Make the Girl, which is one of the best blogs in the Paleosphere.  The mayo is actually very easy to make.  It took me six months to gather the courage to attempt it – but it actually only takes about 4 minutes to whip up.