We’re massive fans of award-winning Chicago chef Paul Kahan’s new cookbook, Cheers to the Publican, out now. These grilled duck hearts with perfect accoutrements are (or will be) every dedicated carnivore’s fantastical dream. 

When you’re opening a restaurant, you want to use everything that’s free. Blackbird had a freezer full of duck gizzards and hearts, so at The Publican we’d confit the gizzards and use them in a salad; and we’d grill the hearts, which are incredibly delicious. Now we get our hearts from a guy who Cosmo thinks sounds like Sebastian the crab from The Little Mermaid. (“Can I get some duck hearts?” “But of ‘carse!”) They’re big, like plums, and they’re a little sweet, a little roast beef-y and firm, but not too firm. We serve ’em with pepper jelly — because we love all peppers, from sweeter Jimmy Nardellos and Padróns, to hot Cherry Bombs — which is basically a simple syrup that we cook the peppers in and thin out with a little vinegar. You dunk the hearts then grill ’em, so they’re sweet, sour and spicy.

Reprinted with permission from Cheers To The Publican, Repast And Present