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So this week I am talking about duck!
Not game duck but a farmed Pekin (not Peking) duck. Much like chicken but with so much more flavour. Farmed Pekin duck is pretty much poultry which is available from most specialty butchers. It’s not cheap but it has so much more flavour than chicken.

It totally made me think of the last time I had eaten duck and it brought me back to my Molten restaurant days. When we would confit the legs (salt and slowly cook in duck fat for long periods of time) shredding down and cooking the meat through a pumpkin, orzo, smoked bacon and cream sauce.

If you want to cook a duck breast to serve with a salad, you just heavily season the duck breast on both sides and place into a very hot pan! sear to render out the fat. 5 minutes on one side and 5 on the other. Then rest for 5 minutes.

In thi s recipe we are going to cook our duck a little slower.

Red wine braised duck with potato purée

(serves 4)

  • 2 duck breasts, skin on
  • 2 brown onions, sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 350ml rich red table wine
  • 1 can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 4 cups washed, peeled and diced agria potatoes
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp chopped Italian parsley
  • 50g fresh parmesan shaved
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 170*C. Score skin of duck breasts with a criss-cross pattern. Season both sides of duck breasts with salt and pepper. Heat a large oven-proof frying pan over med-high heat. Place duck (skin side down) in hot frying pan and cook (render) until the skin is golden. Remove breasts from pan and tip half the fat into a jar or bowl. In the remaining fat, sauté the onion and garlic until soft. Add red wine and tomatoes and bring to the boil. Add duck to the pan, season well with salt and pepper, and put in the oven for 40 minutes.
While the duck is cooking, prepare the purée. Place the potatoes into a medium-sized saucepan with milk, water and 1tsp salt and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender. Drain potatoes from pot, reserving the cooking liquid. Return potatoes into empty pot and mash with 2 tbsp butter. Gradually whip in the reserved cooking liquid until you reach the desired consistency. Season to taste.
After 40 minutes, remove the duck from the oven and allow to rest for at least 5 minutes.
TO SERVE: Spoon purée onto warmed serving plates, pick duck meat from the breasts over the top of the puree. Spoon over a generous amount of the red wine sauce, garnish with Italian parsley and loads of shaved Parmesan.