I first tasted pastrami-spiced, smoked duck breast about 15 years ago, and ever since I've wondered how it would be used in a classic Reuben sandwich. I never got around to actually trying it, but this is close, and I'm going to say, way, way better.


Recipe Summary

25 mins
15 mins
8 hrs
8 hrs 40 mins
2 servings


Original recipe yields 2 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist
Mustard Dressing:


Instructions Checklist
  • Cut shallow slashes diagonally across the fat-side of each duck breast to create cross-hatch marks.

  • Whisk 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon black pepper, coriander, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, paprika, dry mustard, and cayenne pepper together in a large bowl until a wet-rub consistency. Rub spice mixture onto all sides of duck breasts. Set duck into bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate, 8 hours to overnight.

  • Pat excess rub off of duck with paper towels. Season on all sides with kosher salt.

  • Whisk 1/2 cup olive oil, sherry vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt, and black pepper together in a bowl until creamy and smooth. Toss cabbage and Russian dressing together in a separate bowl.

  • Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook duck, skin-side down, in hot skillet until skin is crispy and caramelized, 5 to 6 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, flip ducks breasts, and cook until pink in the middle and meat springs back when touched, about 5 minutes more. Remove to a plate to rest. Pour rendered duck fat from the skillet through a strainer into a bowl.

  • Heat 1 tablespoon reserved duck fat in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Place bread in skillet and cook until lightly toasted, about 1 minute. Flip bread slices and cook until toasted on the other side, about 1 minute more. Sprinkle cheese on each piece of bread, flip slices, and cook until cheese is melted and crisped, about 30 seconds.

  • Slice each duck breasts into 5 pieces. Place each piece of toast on a plate and top with sliced duck breasts. Drizzle Dijon mustard mixture over the top and serve with cabbage.

Cook's Note:

You can substitute Thousand Island dressing for the Russian dressing, if desired.


The nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of the mustard dressing and the rub ingredients. The actual amount of the mustard dressing and rub consumed will vary.

Nutrition Facts

1036 calories; protein 32.3g 65% DV; carbohydrates 34.4g 11% DV; fat 86g 132% DV; cholesterol 133.5mg 45% DV; sodium 2872.5mg 115% DV. Full Nutrition


1 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 1
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0