Duck

Smoked Duck Salad with Orange & Pomegranate (Serves 4)

This is great as a starter, but is equally good as light supper dish. If you can’t find ready cooked smoked duck breasts locally, you can buy them online, I would recommend those from Farmison & Co.

2 ready cooked smoked duck breasts (see note above)

2 oranges

1 pomegranate (or fresh pomegranate seeds)

Handful of walnuts

1 bag mixed salad leaves

Dressing:

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons walnut oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Juice and zest of an orange

Sea salt and black pepper

  1. Place the walnuts on a baking tray and bake in a preheated oven, 180’c, for about 7-10 minutes (keep a eye on them!).
  2. If using a whole pomegranate, seed it. Peel one of the oranges, slice it into segments (remove any pith), and juice and zest the other.
  3. Whisk together the dressing ingredients, seasoning to taste.
  4. Slice the duck breasts
  5. Divide the salad leaves between 4 plates, add the orange segments, pomegranate seeds and walnuts. Place sliced duck in the centre and drizzle with the dressing.

Duck Breasts with Pomegranate & Walnuts (Serves 4)

This is such an easy, quick recipe but it looks so special that one would think you had spent hours in the kitchen – definitely my kind of recipe!! I like to serve it with sautéed spinach, which is super quick to make, and depending on time and the occasion, either with dauphinoise potatoes, I prefer the recipe without cheese for this dish, (recipes here) or steamed potatoes. The garnish of the coriander leaves and pomegranate seeds is very important, as they give the dish a lovely fresh, sweet  tangy finish! I like to serve the duck quite pink, but if you prefer them more well done cook for a little longer.

4 duck breasts

2 medium onions, finely chopped

125g walnuts, roughly chopped

6 tablespoons pomegranate molasses

2 cloves garlic, crushed

200ml chicken stock

Coriander leaves to garnish

Pomegranate seeds to garnish

Sea salt and black pepper

  1. Score the skin of the duck breasts, through the fat but not all the way through to the flesh,and salt them.
  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.
  3. Place the duck breasts on a baking try and place in a preheated oven, 200’c for 10-12 minutes (see note above)
  4. Meanwhile remove half the duck fat from the frying pan, add the onion with a pinch of salt, cook until soft and lightly golden. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute or so.
  5. Add the chicken stock, pomegranate molasses, walnuts and some seasoning to the pan, simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Once the duck is cooked allow it to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
  7. Serve on plates with the sauce and sprinkled with pomegranate seeds and coriander leaves.

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 flesh.
  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.