Sonoma Duck Burgers with Braised Swiss Chard and Tarragon Avocado Mayonnaise

Pairs well with:

Chenin Blanc

This wine is bursting with crisp, refreshing fruit flavors like apple, pear, and melon, making you want to swing your legs off a dock at sunset.


Tarragon Avocado Mayonnaise:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 large Haas avocado, peeled, pitted, and chopped
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves, finely chopped

6 strips bacon, diced
2 cups stemmed and chopped Swiss chard
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/4 cup Sutter Home Chenin Blanc Wine

2 pounds boneless, skin-on duck breasts
1/2 cup sourdough roll bread crumbs (process sourdough roll in a food processor)
1/8 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
6 sourdough rolls, made into bun-sized pieces
1 1/2 cups toasted hazelnuts, chopped


Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

To make Tarragon Avocado Mayonnaise, in the bowl of food processor, combine mayonnaise, avocado, garlic, and tarragon; puree. Refrigerate until serving.

To make the Braised Swiss Chard, add the bacon to a large fireproof non-stick skillet and cook on the grill over high heat until crisp; about 5 minutes, flipping once. Drain bacon on paper towels. Pour off most of the bacon fat, leaving a thin layer, and Swiss chard; cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes; add the garlic and cook for 1 minute; then add the vinegar and Chenin Blanc wine, and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add bacon back in; stir until well combined. Set aside.

To make the patties, remove the skin from the duck breasts. Take 1/2 of one of the skins and place in the food processor (discard or reserve for another use the rest of the skins); puree. Chop the duck breasts into pieces and place in the food processor with the pureed duck fat; process until reasonably ground (don’t overprocess). Combine the ground duck, sourdough bread crumbs, rosemary, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the buns.

Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, just until done, about 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare. During the last few minutes of cooking, place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly.

To assemble the burgers, spread a generous amount of Tarragon Avocado Mayonnaise on the cut side of the buns. On each bun bottom, place equal amounts of toasted hazelnuts, a patty, and equal amounts of Braised Swiss Chard. Add bun tops and serve.

Makes 6 burgers.