Just a quick recipe from some cooking from this weekend! Duck is one of my favourite meats, so a quick recipe for pan-fried duck breasts is always a winner in my books.
The recipe for plum sauce makes far more than needed for 2 people, and it is very easy to preserve the remaining sauce in a sterile jar- there is enough for another 2 or 3 dinners.
As always, duck is a greasy meat but scoring the skin and then searing the breast skin-side down on a hot frying pan will cause the fat to render from under the skin and give you the most amazing crispy skin. I like my duck quite pink inside, so cook to your own preference.
Pan-Fried Duck Breasts with Plum Sauce
2 duck breasts
1 thyme sprig, leaves removed
1 tsp oil
For the plum sauce:
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
250g dark red plums, halved, stoned and cut into small wedges
1 cinnamon stick
6 cardamom pods, crushed open and seeds crushed
50ml red wine
300ml beef stock
1 tbsp soy sauce
To make the sauce, fry the shallot in the oil for 5 mins until softened. Add the plums, sugar, cinnamon stick and ground cardamom, stirring for a few mins until the sugar has dissolved. Add the red wine and stock to the pan. Simmer for about 15 mins, stirring occasionally, until the plums are soft. Crush the plums against the side of the pan with a wooden spoon and leave the sauce to thicken.
Meanwhile, score the skin of the duck breasts with a sharp knife and season well with salt and pepper. Heat a small drop of oil in a non-stick frying pan and place the duck breasts in, skin-side down. Sprinkle with the thyme leaves and fry skin-side down for 6-7 minutes before turning. Cook for a further 5-6 mins for pink or 10-12 mins for well done.
When the duck is cooked, leave to rest covered with tin foil for 5 minutes. Slice the duck breasts thinly and arrange on a plate with mashed potatoes, wilted spinach and the plum sauce.