Breast of duck with a herb croustillant, caramelised nectarines, asparagus and a juniper berry-scented jus

11 September 2006
Breast of duck with a herb croustillant, caramelised nectarines, asparagus and a juniper berry-scented jus


(serves one)

For the jus 250ml red wine
50ml port
250ml stock
10 juniper berries (crushed)
Salt and pepper
25g unsalted butter

For the croustillant
1 sheet spring roll pastry
About 1tsp flour and water paste
Chopped parsley and coriander
Oil for frying

For the vegetables 8 heads of asparagus

For the caramelised nectarines 1 nectarine, cut into six segments
Caster sugar
Vegetable oil

For the duck 1 duck breast
Salt and pepper


Reduce red wine and port, mix in stock and reduce by half. Add crushed juniper berries and seasoning, cover with clingfilm and leave to infuse for at least 10 minutes. Melt in butter and pass through fine sieve. Reserve.

To make the croustillant, lay out the pastry sheet on a board. Mix flour and water to make a paste and brush on to pastry. Sprinkle with herbs, fold in half (lengthwise) and cut into a rectangle. Fry the croustillant until golden. Drain and reserve.

Peel asparagus three-quarters of the way down the stalk, leaving green tips. Cut to required size. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and blanch. Refresh.

For the caramelised nectarines, heat vegetable oil in a pan and fry the nectarine segments, caramelising them in a little sugar. Reserve.

Trim the duck, if necessary. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and seal, skin-side down. Turn over and transfer to an oven and cook at 200°C for eight minutes (or until golden). Season.

While the duck is cooking, reheat the jus. In a separate pan, add a knob of butter and a little water and gently warm the asparagus. Warm the nectarine under a grill.

To serve, place the nectarine in the middle of the plate. Top with the croustillant, followed by sliced duck, and finish with asparagus and jus.

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