Monday 20 August 2012

(Successful) Experiment - Recipe: Seared Duck Breast - Baked Potato Fraiche - Juniper & Cranberry Cabbage

Duck is such a great ingredient, my first memory of actually going out and getting a duck to cook with, I think it was my 2nd year at university, it was after an extraordinarily long revision session, my friend and I were both exhausted and twitching for a fag and a pint. Now there ain't many places open at 4AM that will serve you, and we got to thinking 'What the hell we were going to do!?' After a fair amount of head scratching, we kind of gave up on the idea and decided that a plan for Sunday lunch should be forged, and that is where the idea for roast duck came from. Canny mind me mates got, because he suggested that we could get a duck at that very moment from the New Smithfield Market (we were in Manchester), and, what's more, there was a very good chance that there would be a bar there where we could get a pint! So off we went, needless to say we got our beer, a game of pool and our duck - including giblets and head (still attached) and feathers!!!! More than we bargained for . . . .  more about that in another post!!!

Anyway this recipe is something a little different, and takes less than 30minutes to cook . . . . result!!

ingredients (serves 2)
for the duck & creme fraiche sauce
2 duck breasts
2 tbsp creme fraiche

for the baked potato

2 medium potatoes
20g touch of butter (softened)

for the juniper & cranberry cabbage
1/2 tsp juniper berries (crushed)
1 orange (juice & zest)
1/3 savoy cabbage (1cm strips)
1 tbsp cranberry jelly
1 clove of garlic (crushed)

for the garnish
a little parsley

heavy based pan for searing!

Get your mis en place in place! (Prep the ingredients, and have 'em all to hand!)
Turn the oven on 230C / G8 / 450F.
Put the cast iron pan on the gas!
Slice the duck skin across the width every 5mm.
You don't need oil for duck breast it has enough fat of its own! Salt the skin and put in the pan skin side down!
Medium high heat until the fat has rendered off and the skin is crispy and golden! Should be about 10 -15mins
While the duck's on, fork the potatoes all over so they release steam and put them in the microwave full blast for 5 mins.
Put the oj, juniper berries and cranberry jelly into a pan and leave to simmer.
Put the cabbage on to steam for 5mins.
Once the microwave pings take the potatoes out, put them onto a tray and give them a quick brush of butter, and dust with salt flakes. Then put them into the oven for 5 mins.
By now the skin on the duck should be golden, turn it over and brown the meat side. Take it out when it's done to your taste, and put it to rest on a warn plate.
You can tell how cooked it is by pressing on the breast with your finger or a wooden spoon the same way as you would a piece of steak. [link to real or fake how to cook steak]
Add about 100ml of water to the pan to deglaze it, and then add the creme fraiche, mix until smooth.
Drain the cabbage and mix it with the juniper sauce.

to serve

Pour the jus released from the duck into the creme fraiche sauce, and mix in.
Cut a cross in the top of the potato and add the remaining butter and the creme fraiche sauce.
Place the cabbage on the plate.
Cut the duck into slices and plate, garnish the potato with a little parsley.

Less than 30  minutes for the lot, and I have to come clean: the cabbage - the most experimental part - of this recipe was one of me mums concoctions! Very good it is too!               

I love microwaved baked potatoes, they always remind me of staying at me grans and watchin' Woody Allen films! (aged 8!) "Sleeper" is one that I'll never forget, possibly where I got my crush on Diane Keaton!

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