Perfect Pink Duck Breast with Garlic Mash

This is quite a rich recipe but a delicious one. Ideal for a dinner party or a date night at home.

We’ll start with the mash. Preferably maris piper or desiree potatoes. First get 5 whole garlic cloves (skin on) and very gently infuse 250g of good quality salted butter with the garlic. Put in a small saucepan on the lowest setting on your hob and leave until the garlic is soft. If the butter starts to boil take it off and cool slightly before putting back on.

Cook your potatoes (starting in cold water – they cook through better and more evenly than if they are cooked starting in hot water) and once you can get a knife in and out of the potato easily without leaving a starchy residue on the knife they are ‘mashable’! Sieve them and leave to sit so that some of the moisture evaporates. From here when the duck is ready you will mash until smooth before adding your garlic butter a bit at a time with a splash of double cream, a pinch of fresh ground nutmeg and plenty of salt and pepper. How wet/sloppy you like your mash is up to you. You could easily substitute mash for gratin dauphinoise if you prefer.

For the duck breast you are going to place it in a frying pan skin side down and render the fat down first. This means on a medium heat you will gently cook the skin and the fat will become visible in the pan. You want to remove and pour this off into a vessel regularly and keep doing this until the skin is brown and starting to look crispy. It may take 15-20 minutes but is worth the wait to have crispy skin as well as pink, moist duck breast. Once you have got to this stage turn the breast over, seal the other side and then place in an oven for 7-8 minutes at 180 degrees C. Then leave to rest in a warm environment (cooker top/hob) for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile you have got a large handful of washed kale per person and you are just going to gently pan fry in olive oil, salt and pepper until cooked. Add some spinach too towards the end. Other options for veg are green beans, asparagus, chicory or sprouting broccoli which would all work well.

While the duck is resting use the same pan the meat cooked in and pour in 1-2 glasses of wine and reduce by half. Then add some blackberries and a tablespoon of red currant jelly which will add a nice contrast and cut through the richness of the duck leaving the dish more balanced. When the sauce is thickened put the dish together and place the duck on top of the mash, greens to one side and generously spoon the sauce over the duck and around the dish. Enjoy.

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