Sunday, 18 January 2015
Duck in Port and Berry Sauce with Pack Choi and Mash
4 Greshingham Duck Breasts
70g of Dried Cherries and Berries
300ml of Port
200 ml of Chicken Stock
50g of Unsalted Butter Cut into Cubes and Softened
Small Handful of Fresh Thyme
2 Pack Choi
2 Garlic Cloves Crushed and Finely Chopped
3 Tea Spoons of Soy Sauce
4 Maris Piper Potatoes
50ml of Creme Fraiche
100ml of Milk
Before you start cooking, score slashes into the duck skin and sprinkle coarse sea salt over it and rub in. Leave to one side for 30 minutes. The pack choi will also need to be halved length ways (from top to bottom), laid in a bowl, sprinkled with the crushed garlic, the soy sauce and a drizzle of olive oil, and tossed so the whole of the greenery is covered in the garlicy, sticky mixture. Leave it to soak it up. You will also need to pre-heat an oven to 180 degrees C.
In a large pan, fry your duck breasts, skin side down over a medium heat for about 12-14 minutes. Once the fat from the skin has all rendered and the skin is left golden and crispy, turn them over to gently fry on the other side for about 2-3 minutes, then transfer into the oven for no more than 20 minutes. Unlike chicken, duck is meant to be served a bit pink in the middle so no need to leave any longer than this. Take 2 teaspoons of the duck fat and put in a separate pan to fry the Pack Choi in. Then disregard all bar 1 tablespoon full of fat which you will use to make the sauce. You don't need any more than that. In the interests of not blocking drains with fat or wasting good food in general, I recommend what you take out of the pan, you pour into a container and keep until the next time you want to make roast potatoes. Roasties cooked in duck fat are awesome!
To make the sauce, add the port to the hot duck fat on a medium heat and stir with a whisk until it deglazes. Add your thyme, cherries and berries and chicken stock, turn the heat up to bring to a bubble, stirring all the while. Once it starts bubbling add half your butter cubes (25g) and continue to stir in. When the sauce has reached it optimum temperature, it will start to thicken. Turn the heat down to a gentle simmer, retrieve your duck breasts and add them flesh side down, to the pan with the sauce in it. Pour any juices in there as well.
Make you mash by peeling and slicing your potatoes and boiling them in a pan with half water and half milk in it and a dash of salt. After 15-20 minutes or so, the potatoes should be soft enough for you to push a fork through without much effort. At this point, drain and mash. Add the rest of your butter, your cream and your milk and with a whisk, stir into a light, fluffy puree. Season generously with black pepper and salt.
Finally, take your marinated pack choi and fry for 2 minutes each side in the duck fat you set aside in a separate pan. Once it has started to wilt it is ready to serve up.
Make a bed with the mash, lay your duck breasts on top and a pack choi half next to it on each plate. Strain your sauce from the pan into a jug or grave boat. Finishing touch, spoon a coupe of cherries and berries onto your duck and serve. Good dinner party staple this. Simple to do but looks impressive and tastes supreme.