Duck Breast with Cherries
By Maurice and Miriam Buchanan, Gressingham’s founders
An elegant yet simple main course for a romantic supper, or double it up to cook for friends. Perfect with roasted vegetables. Defrosted cherries are fine but require less cooking so add them near the end.
Prepare: 15 mins
Cooking: 20 – 30 mins
2 Gressingham duck breasts
1 long shallot, peeled and finely sliced
Handful of fresh cherries, pitted
50ml good Port
100ml rich chicken stock
1 tbsp runny honey
1 sprig of fresh thyme
- Preheat your oven to 200°c or 180°c fan. Dry the duck breasts well on kitchen paper. Lightly score the skin with a sharp knife six to eight times along the duck breast (to help the fat render out and flavour the meat). Season well with salt and pepper.
- Lay the duck breasts skin side down into a cold, unoiled frying pan. Cook over a low-medium heat for about 6 to 8 minutes until the skin is golden and crispy (while regularly draining off any fat carefully into a bowl). Turn the duck breasts over to seal the meat side for 30 seconds and then transfer them to a roasting tray (keep the frying pan for later).
- Cook the duck in the oven for 10 to 20 minutes (depending on how well done you like it). Transfer the duck to a hot plate and rest somewhere warm for 10 minutes while you prepare the sauce.
- Heat up the frying pan with a little of the duck fat over a medium heat. Add the shallot and cherries, stir frying them until softened. Add the remaining ingredients and turn up the heat to full, boiling the pan’s contents until the liquid becomes thickened and syrupy, stirring occasionally to make sure nothing sticks to the pan.
- Carve the duck thickly and serve glazed with the cherries and the sauce.
Chilli con Canard
A delicious twist on the classic chilli con carne, using shredded cooked duck legs instead of beef. You can use kidney beans or black beans depending on your preference, and serve this with rice, tortilla chips or both.
Prepare: 20 mins
Cooking: 60 mins
2 large Gressingham duck legs
1 red onion, peeled and finely sliced
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
100g cooking chorizo
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp tomato purée
½ tbsp chipotle paste
1 tin of kidney beans, drained (400g)
1 tin of chopped tomatoes (400g)
1 lime, halved
- Preheat the oven to 200°c or 180°c fan. Pat the duck legs dry with a kitchen towel. Prick the skin all over with a fork or sharp knife and season well with salt and pepper. Place them on a baking tray and into the preheated oven. Cook for 45 minutes then remove from the oven, leave until cool enough to handle and shred the meat from the bones with two forks.
- Meanwhile, gently fry the red onion with a little oil in a pan over a low to medium heat until softened. Add the garlic and chorizo and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Next add the cumin, oregano, paprika, tomato purée, chipotle paste, kidney beans and chopped tomatoes. Turn up the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, then stir in the shredded duck and a little water if the sauce is getting too thick. Cook the chilli for a further 10 minutes, then finish with salt, pepper and lime juice to taste. Add a sprinkle of paprika if you like, then serve the chilli alongside all your chosen accompaniments.
Confit de Canard à la Salardaise
This classic peasant dish comes from south-western France and is best enjoyed with a dressed green salad on the side.
Prepare: 5 mins
Cooking: 50 mins
4 Gressingham duck legs
3 cloves of garlic, peeled
4 sprigs of thyme
300g Gressingham duck fat
1kg good waxy potatoes
Small bunch of curly parsley
- Preheat the oven to 160°c or 140°c fan. Season the duck legs with salt and pepper, then place them skin side down in a heavy ovenproof earthenware pan or hob proof casserole (such as Le Creuset) with one of the garlic cloves and all the thyme.
- Cover the legs with most of the duck fat, put on the lid and bring to a simmer over a low-medium heat. Transfer to the preheated oven and cook for 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and slice them into rounds. Thinly slice the remaining cloves of garlic and finely shred the parsley.
- Fry the potatoes in the remaining duck fat in a deep sauté pan over a medium heat for about 10 minutes, until they are starting to brown. Remove any excess fat then stir in the garlic and parsley. Turn the heat down low and continue frying for another 15 minutes.
- Remove the duck legs from the oven when they are done. Gently transfer them into another sauté pan over a medium-high heat and fry them on both sides until crispy. Serve the duck legs with the potatoes and a fresh green salad on the side. Enjoy!