The Simple Things
The bees are buzzing, making sure everything is pollinated
Confit duck and petits pois à la Français
Duckling with peas was a traditional northern dish for Whitsun. This is a slightly different take on the same ingredients, using pre-prepared confit duck – an extremely easy and delicious ingredient which you can find in the high-end supermarkets, delis and online – and serving it with petits pois (plus a few other spring vegetables) à la Français is a delicious way of eating the young fresh greens that are available in abundance right now.
750g tin confit duck
2 shallots, finely chopped 12 sticks asparagus, trimmed 400g peas (podded or frozen) 2 small heads baby gem lettuce, trimmed and quartered
400ml veg or chicken stock
1 Heat your oven to 220C/200C Fan/ Gas 7. Remove the confited duck legs from the tin and lay them on a baking tray (pour the leftover fat into a jar for future frying and roasting). Put in the oven for 20 mins before you intend to serve it, or – if you’d like it a little crispier – remove it from the oven, pour the excess fat into your jar for another day, and pull the meat off the bones before grilling for a few mins.
2 While the duck cooks, heat the butter in a heavy frying pan over a medium heat and soften the shallots. Once softened, drop in the asparagus, peas, and lettuce and fry for a further 1-2 mins before pouring in just enough stock to part cover the vegetables. Turn up the heat and allow it all to bubble together for a few mins, turning everything occasionally, until the asparagus is soft, then season to taste.
3 To serve, scoop out the vegetables with a slatted spoon so that just a little stock clings to them. Divide the vegetables and duck between four plates and eat immediately.