Duck breast with pink peppercorns
( SERVES 2 )
Photo by Janna Dixon
For you special Valentines day meal fresh duck is a luxurious and delicious meat, and the fat rendered during cooking a valuable bonus - keep it in the fridge for another time when you fancy the tastiest, crustiest roast potatoes. Salad leaves, tossed with a little fruity oil and seasoning at the last minute, cut the richness of the dish. Serve with a top-notch pinot noir.
- Cooked at Nosh by chef Anthony Joseph.
- Pat the duck dry. Pierce skin all over with the tip of a sharp knife to allow the fat to drain and the skin to become crisp. Season well with salt.
- Heat a heavy pan (preferably cast-iron) until very hot. Place duck, skin sides down, in the pan and immediately reduce heat to moderately low. Cook for 15 minutes until the skin is a deep brown and most of fat is rendered out.
- Carefully tip the fat from the pan. Turn duck over, add the shallots and thyme and cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Remove the duck to a warm plate and allow to rest while you finish the sauce. Add the liquor and peppercorns to the pan with the shallots and bring to the boil. Add the stock, and boil until reduced by half.
- Tip back any juices released by the resting duck and add the cream, simmering briefly.
- Serve the duck thickly sliced on the sauce (minus thyme stalks) with a posy of the salad leaves alongside.