The main for our festive dinner party menu is tender duck breast with all the flavours of Christmas. Don't be intimidated by cooking duck, the process is not complicated, if you follow the rules you will have success everytime. Remember to start skin-side down in a cold skillet or frying pan, this way the fat will render down properly and you won't have any need for extra fat in the pan; and to finish make sure you let the duck breasts rest for 5 minutes before plating. Simple. The sauce for this dish is sweet and nutty, so serve with a fresh leafy salad.
- 2 duck breasts (room-temperature)
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 70 g freshly-shelled walnuts, roughly chopped
- 3 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 100 ml chicken stock
- Coriander leaves and pomegranate seeds to garnish
- Pre-heat oven 200°C/400ºF/Gas mark 6.
- Salt the duck breast skin, place in a dry frying pan skin-side down and cook over a low heat to render the fat and crisp the skin. Turn over briefly to seal, then remove and place flesh side down on a small roasting tray.
- Remove half of the duck fat, then add the onion to the pan with a pinch of salt and cook until soft and lightly golden, add the garlic and cook for a further minute or so.
- Put the duck breast in the oven and cook for 15 minutes.
- Add the chicken stock, pomegranate molasses, walnuts and some seasoning to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Once the duck is cooked allow to rest for 5 minutes before carving and serving with the sauce, garnished with pomegranate seeds and coriander leaves.