Duck breast is one of those rare items, in that it’s an incredible comfort food, but at the same time it definitely feels like a little bit of luxury. This recipe pairs it with the classic French Dauphinoise, and then one of the easiest sauces you’ll ever make.
Duck Breast with Potato Dauphinoise and a redcurrant and Dijon Sauce
- 4 large duck breasts
- 1 kg maris piper or similar potato peeled, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and finely chopped
- 500 ml whole milk
- 400 ml double cream
- 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 100 g unsalted butter sliced
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 1 sprig thyme
- 2 cloves garlic peeled
- 200 ml white wine
- 4 tsp redcurrant jelly
- 2 tsp Dijon and honey mustard or add .5 tsp of good honey
- 1 rich beef stockpot
- 50 ml hot water
- salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 170C, 160C fan, gas mark 3. Line a deep roasting pan with greaseproof paper across the bottom and sides, then layer the sliced potatoes, lightly seasoning each layer as you go. Mix together the garlic, milk, cream and nutmeg in a small saucepan, season well, then gently bring up to a simmer, being careful not to boil. Take off the heat, allow to stand for 5 minutes, then pour over the potato layers. Place the sliced butter over then top, then set the pan on a lipped baking tray, and bake in the oven for approx 45 minutes, until starting to colour golden on top and tender all the way through when tested with a knife.
- If you want to cool and press the potatoes, to allow you cut a nicer presentable shape for presentation, allow them to cool, then cover with another layer of greaseproof paper, then a piece of thick cardboard cut to fit the pan. Place cans on the top to weight it down, then refrigerate for 8 hours. If not, then turn the oven up to 190C, 170C fan, gas mark 5, and crack on.
- Using your sharpest knife, cut off any excess skin, then score the skin lightly diagonally one way, then the other, to form a diamond pattern. It's important that this just breaks the skin and goes into the fat underneath, allowing it to render whilst cooking. It also helps to stop the breast from curling.
- Heat a thick bottomed frying pan over a medium heat, then add the seasoned breasts, skin side down with the herbs and garlic cloves. Allow to cook for between 4-5 minutes, until the skin is a nice golden brown and the fat has started to render. Turn the breasts and cook for a further two minutes to colour. Place the breasts on a lipped baking tray and set to one side.
- Turn the heat until the frying pan to it's highest setting, then pour in the white wine, and using a wooden spoon, agitate all the bits from the bottom of the pan.
- If you've pressed and chilled the potatoes, preheat the oven tto 190C, 170C fan, gas mark 5. Using the paper, lift the potato dauphinoise out of the pan and onto a cutting board. Cut with a knife or a cutting ring into portion sized amounts. Place a sheet of greaseproof on a baking tray, transfer the potato portions over, then bake for approx 30 minutes until well coloured. Add in the redcurrant jelly, the mustard, the stockpot and the water, and allow to simmer until it thickens to a nice pouring consistency. Taste and season, then strain.
- Finish the breasts in the oven alongside the potatoes. Cooking times will depend on size a little, but for a rough idea. If they cooled in between, cook for approx 9 minutes for a medium, 7 for rare. If they are straight from the frying pan, take a minute off. When finished in the pan, a medium breast will still feel quite springy. Wrap in foil, shiny side in, and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
- Serve the duck breast over the potatoes, with some just cooked green vegetables, and then gently nap the sauce over.