Duck

Duck Breast with Raspberries, Dauphinoise Potatoes and Tenderstem Broccoli (Serves 4)

Duck breasts are a great midweek meal as they are so easy to cook – just brown in a frying pan to render the fat and then place in the oven for about 10 minutes! The raspberry sauce in this recipe is lovely, as it has a slightly sweet, tangy flavour which compliments the rich meat of the duck perfectly. I like to serve the duck breasts quite pink, so if you prefer them more well done cook for a little longer than I have specified in the recipe. For a really special meal serve this dish with Dauphinoise Potatoes, I also like to serve Tenderstem Broccoli as it cuts the sweetness. The sauce calls for crème de cassis, which is something that you may not have lying around the house, but it is something which will keep for a very, very long time in your cupboard; I’m sure like me you’ll make this recipe again plus having it in the house gives you the perfect excuse to make a Kir Royale cocktail (recipe here). This duck recipe is also from my well used edition of  ‘The Food of France’.

4 duck breasts

2 teaspoons sea salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

4 teaspoons demerara sugar

250ml red wine

150ml crème de cassis

1 tablespoon cornflour

250g raspberries (defrosted if frozen)

Black pepper

  1. Score the skin of the duck breasts, through the fat but not all the way through to the skin.
  2. Place the breasts in a dry frying pan, skin side down, over a low heat to render down most of the fat, this may take as much as 10-15 minutes. When the fat is rendered, turn up the heat to crisp up and brown the skin (about 2 minutes). Finally, turn over to sear the underside for minute or so. Remove the duck breasts from the pan, pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat. Keep this pan to one side to make the sauce.
  3. Meanwhile mix together the sea salt, cinnamon and demerara sugar.
  4. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the browned duck skin, pressing it down with your hands. Season with black pepper.
  5. Place the duck breasts on a baking try and place in a preheated oven, 200’c for 10 minutes.
  6. To make the sauce, mix together the red wine and cassis in a jug. Pour about 100ml of the liquid into a small bowl and mix in the cornflour, then pour this back into the jug and stir.
  7. Return the pan (with the remaining 2 tablespoons of fat) to the heat and pour in the red wine and cassis. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until it has thickened and some of the alcohol has burned off. Add the raspberries and simmer for another minute to warm through. Check the seasoning, remove and keep warm.
  8. Remove the duck breasts from the oven. To caramelise the sugared skin place under a really hot grill for a minute or so (don’t leave them too long otherwise you will overcook the duck meat – I actually use a kitchen blowtorch to caramelise them, so if you have one, I recommend using this).
  9. Finally slice the duck breasts, serve with a little sauce over the top and the rest served separately in a jug. Accompany with Dauphinoise Potatoes (recipe here) and Tenderstem Broccoli.