Duck breasts with orange and ginger sauce
Duck meat can be dry if you cook it without skin and fat, so remove after cooking. Trick to getting skin crisp is to leave it uncovered in fridge overnight, then put it under an electric fan; other wise leave it in the fridge until ready to cook. Score the skin and fat before cooking.
Ingredients (serves 2 or more) – 2 x 175g duck breasts – juice of 1 large orange or 100ml quality orange juice – 1 tsp ginger purée – 2 tsp plum sauce or plum conserve – 1 ripe plum, stoned and halved – wilted pak choi, to serve – boiled basmati rice or udon noodles, to serve
1) Heat a heavy-based non-stick frying pan on a very high heat until smoking hot. Don’t add oil to the pan.
2) Using a sharp knife, score the skin and fat on the duck breasts. Add to the pan, skin side down, and cook for five minutes without moving them so they brown well. Working carefully (wear oven gloves), frequently pour the excess fat into a dish. Once the skin is golden brown, turn the breasts over and sear the other side for five minutes, until browned.
3) Transfer the duck to a rack set in a baking tray or roasting tin. Put the tray in the oven and cook for 10 minutes for medium rare or 15 minutes for well done. Allow the meat to rest for 10 minutes before carving.
4) To make the sauce, wipe out the pan, add orange juice, ginger and bring to the boil. Allow it to bubble down to reduce, then stir in plum sauce or conserve.
5) Add the halved plums to the pan you cooked the sauce in, cut side down. Cook over a medium-high heat for a few minutes without touching them, until they’re nicely caramelised.
6) To serve, carve the duck into thin slices and drizzle the sauce over each portion. Serve with a caramelised plum half, lightly wilted pak choi, and basmati rice or udon noodles.
Tip: You can find plum sauce in Asian markets. Use any leftover duck to fill an omelette wrap (page 46) for lunch the next day.