Skill level: Medium,
Total cooking time: 35 minutes,
- Prep time: 10 minutes,
- Cooking time: 15 minutes (plus 10 minutes resting time),
Equipment used: 1 frying pan that can be transferred to the oven,
I had this last weekend in a lovely wee pub in Peterborough and have copied it from their menu almost exactly.
Whilst cooking, the duck will release a lot of fat and this will be used in all its glory to sauté and flavour the potatoes. If you’re not making potatoes, don’t waste this – pour any leftover fat into a ramekin, leave to cool and when at room temperature cover with cling film and store in the fridge until needed (If you tend to have a lot of jars in your fridge – write the date on the cling film with a marker pen). You can keep this for a a couple of months before using again and your next batch of tatties (roast or sautéed) will thank you for it.
1: Score the fat on your duck breast – this allows the fat to dribble out. If there is excess fat, cut this off – you can always fry this separately to make a sort of duck skin crackling.
2: I used leftover new potatoes from yesterday’s dinner. If you don’t have these to hand, cook as normal. Once cooked (and slightly cooled) slice the potatoes (aim for the width of two £1 coins)
3: Cut a chunk of blue cheese into bite size pieces
4: Toast your pine nuts in a frying pan – you can use the same pan to cook your duck in later.
5: Prepare your salad leaves
6: Pre-heat the oven to 180 C. If you don’t have a frying pan than can go in the oven, add a baking tray in to warm through.
Season the duck breasts, both sides with salt and pepper. Add these to a cold frying pan, skin side down.
Turn the heat up to “medium” and leave for around 6 minutes for the fat to render out of the duck breast. At this point, have a peak and decide if you want it cooked for a little longer or not – you want the fat to look crispy and appetising, if this is pale or squidgy, cook it for longer.
When ready, turn the duck over and seal the underside of the meat for 30 seconds. You now want to remove some of this fat, simply drain off the excess into a jug or ramekin.
If using a frying pan that can go in the oven (no plastic handle) pop this into a pre-heated oven for 5 to 7 minutes. If not, place on a pre-heated baking tray. I use 180 C which I use for every recipe I cook.
(If it sounds like I know what I’m talking about, it’s because I read a really useful “how to” on the Gressingham duck website)
Whilst the duck is cooking in the oven, sauté your potatoes. Using the reserved duck fat slowly fry the tatties and turn over once a nice crust has formed on one side. These will be ready at the same time as the duck. When cooked, I’d recommend placing them onto kitchen paper to soak up some of the excess grease.
When cooked, place the breasts on a wooden board, cover with a tea towel and let the duck rest for at least 10 minutes. Don’t be tempted to skip this step, as with any meat the resting time is needed to ensure a moist juicy chunk of animal. If you carve it too soon, the blood will run out and you will have a dry duck breast.
To make the rest of the salad, combine rocket, spinach and endive (all chopped into bite size pieces) into a big bowl, mix and add a drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice.
Add to a plate, ad the cubes of blue cheese and toasted pine nuts.
Once the duck has rested (ideally for 10 minutes), drizzle honey over the skin and place back in the frying pan for literally a minute.
Remove from the pan, slice at an chefy angle and arrange on top of the salad.
- 1/2 bag new potatoes (£1 for a bag)
- 2 duck breasts (£8.40 from my local butchers)
- 1 lemon (30p)
- Colston Bassett blue cheese (£4) – I only used a third of the packet, so £1 here
- spinach (£1 for a bag)
- rocket (£1 for a bag)
- pine nuts
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