Duck breasts with or­ange and ginger sauce

The Irish Times - Tuesday - Health - - Health Fitness -

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.

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