I find duck one of the harder poultry meats to get right when cooking, but don’t be put off by this, once you have mastered some the simple techniques used they will give you the wow factor when cooking for friends or family. The Barbary duck breast we use at the Swan is very consistent and stays really moist once cooked. We finish ours off with a little honey glaze at the end which then works wonders to pull all of the flavours together. The turnip in this dish has a subtle bitter edge to it, which is then balanced out but the meaty duck flavour and then the sweet honey and orange zest. The breasts do not have an overly thick amount of fat, so it renders really well during the sealing process at the beginning.
Barbary duck breast, baby turnips, confit potatoes, black cabbage and slow cooked orange zest – serves 2
1 pair of Barbary duck breasts
1 bunch of baby turnips
100g Black cabbage
1 medium Desiree potato
½ bunch of breakfast radishes
50ml of red wine
Trim the duck breast and remove any sinew. Score the fat and place into fridge
Cut the turnips in half and then cook in the red wine until tender (approximately 8 minutes). Retain the red wine sauce.
Cut the radishes in half lengthways and cook in a little water and sugar until tender (5-6 minutes).
Strip off the black cabbage leaves from the stalk and cook in a little water and butter until tender. Keep it hot until service.
Cut the potato into a 15mm dice and then blanch in lightly salted water for 10 minutes.
Once cooked drain and leave to dry out on a flat tray until needed. Fry the potatoes in oil until golden brown and then season with a little salt.
Peel the orange and cut it into fine strips, then simmer in 80ml water and the juice of the orange for 15 minutes until tender.
Take the ducks from fridge and season with salt fry on the skin until golden brown and seal on the flesh side then cook in the moderate oven for 6-7 minutes and rest on a tray in a warm place.
Slice the duck breasts lengthways and place onto the black cabbage and surround with other hot seasoned vegetables, place the orange zest around and finish with a little sauce.