Duck Breasts are the perfect choice for a special meal – they’re delicious, quick and pretty straightforward. Normally Duck is pared with Oranges, Cherries or Blackberries. I’ve gone for Apples and Apricots with a light sauce made with white wine and sherry. Spices such as Cardamom, Ginger and Star Anise are added to make a light, fruity accompaniment to the Duck. On the side are pan fried potatoes – simple to make by boiling cubed potatoes, allowing them to cool, then as the Duck is cooking fry them in olive oil and garlic. You can drizzle some of the Duck Fat from the breasts on them if you like. Add in some Kale, or Cabbage and you’re finished.
I like my Duck pink, if you prefer you can cook the breasts in the oven for an additional 2 minutes to have them well done.
Honey Duck Breast with Apples and Apricots
- 2 Duck Breasts
- 1/2 Onion, finely diced
- 2 Garlic Cloves - sliced
- 2 Star Anise
- 3 Cardamom Pods - seeds taken out and crushed
- 1 Cinnamon Stick
- 1 Cm Fresh Ginger - grated
- 2 Tsp Honey - 1/2 Tsp for each Duck Breast, and one to add to the sauce
- 1 Apricot - blanched, peeled and sliced
- 1 Apple, peeled and sliced thinly
- 1/2 Cup White Wine
- 4 Tbsp Masala Sherry
- 4 Medium Potatoes, diced, boiled and put to one side to go cold
- Preheat your oven to 180°C, 350°F
- In a frying pan add some oil, and heat. Tip the potatoes in, give a good grinding of salt and pepper and add in one or two sliced garlic cloves. The potatoes will fry while you do the Duck, you just need to flip them over once in a while
- Heat a heavy bottomed frying pan to a medium/high heat. Add the Duck breasts skin side down and cook for 7-8 minutes. Flip over, and seal the other side of the breast for 1 to 2 minutes. Brush 1/2 tsp of Honey onto the breasts and put in the oven for 6 minutes.
- Pour some of the Duck fat onto the potatoes as they fry but leave the rest in the pan. Add in the onion and one sliced garlic clove and fry until the onion is translucent. Add in the Star Anise, Cinnamon Stick, Fresh Ginger, Ground Cardamom seeds and 1 tsp of Honey.
- Mix in the White Wine and Marsala. And bring to a simmering point. Reduce by half.
- When the 6 minutes is up, your Duck should be perfectly pink. If you like it well done, leave it in the oven for another 2-3 minutes. Take the Duck out of the oven, and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
- Once the sauce has reduced, add in the sliced Apples and Apricots. Allow them to simmer in the sauce for 3-4 minutes until soft (but the Apple still needs to have a bit of crunch to it).
- Slice your Duck Breasts, arrange on a plate with the fruit, and drizzle some of the sauce over top. Serve with the fried potatoes, and kale or cabbage.
Other nice recipes for a Special Dinner such as Valentines are here: