If there’s one chef that truly understands flavour, in my eyes it’s Gordon Ramsay. This is his recipe and was taken through his ‘Ultimate Cookery Course’ book, which was the first cookbook I ever used and learnt with. I have been meaning to try this recipe for a long time and after attempting it last night, I wish I’d made it sooner!
I have been used to cooking Duck Breast at a high temperature, however this sears the fat into the meat and results in serving a very fatty piece of meat. The method used in this recipe is to slowly render the fat by placing the duck at a low temperature in the pan. This leaves a little fat on the duck and makes eating it a much more pleasurable experience.
Duck is very rich and flavoursome and therefore any sort of fruit can be paired with it, such as apple, orange or even rhubarb. It provides a little acidity which cuts through this richness and provides the perfect balance of flavour.
2 x Duck Breasts (with skin on)
Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper
For The Jus
150ml x Red Wine (we used a Merlot)
1 x Large Garlic Clove (lightly crushed and skin on)
2 x Thyme Sprigs
150ml x Chicken/Duck Stock
3 tbsp x Blackcurrant Jam
15g x Butter (salted and cubed)
1. On a chopping board, place the duck breasts skin-side up and with a sharp knife, carefully score the skin diagonally, then repeat the other way (try not to score through to the meat itself) and add some seasoning onto both sides of the duck.
2. Pre-heat the oven to 170C for a fan-assisted oven.
3. Place the duck breasts skin-side down into an oven-proof frying pan and place on the hob under a low heat. It will take about 15 minutes to render the fat out (which is why you don’t need any oil in the pan).
4. Now turn the heat up to ‘medium-high’ and cook the duck on the same side for 5 minutes to crisp the skin. Then turn the breasts over and cook for 1-2 minutes. Place the frying pan into the oven and cook for 8 minutes. Once the time is up, remove the pan from the oven and leave the duck breasts to rest on a warm plate. Meanwhile make the sauce.
5. To make the blackcurrant sauce, add the red wine to a large saucepan onto the same hob ring you used to fry the duck, then add the thyme and garlic. Bring to the boil and leave for 3-4 minutes until the wine has reduced by half, then add the stock and again repeat this process.
6. Stir in the jam along with the butter and whisk slowly. Taste and adjust the seasoning if required. Strain the sauce into a bowl through a sieve to remove the garlic, thyme and any blackcurrant jam solids.
7. Cut the duck breast into slices and serve with boiled minted potatoes and garden peas.