Pan-Fried Duck Breast with Confit Potato Cakes

11 September 2006
Pan-Fried Duck Breast with Confit Potato Cakes


(Serves four)

1kg duck fat
2 duck legs
2 medium-sized potatoes
2tsp chives
2tsp orange zest
Salt and pepper
Duck bones
100g mixed vegetables (carrots garlic and celery)
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 bottle red table wine
120cl duck stock
2tbs olive oil
1 beetroot
4 duck breasts
80g horseradish
50ml double cream
Juice of half a lemon
1 bunch watercress
100g unsalted butter


Melt duck fat in a deep pan confit duck legs in the pan and bring to a simmer then place in a preheated oven (130íC) for 45 minutes and leave. Once the confit has cooled tear the meat into strips.

Parboil the potatoes refresh in cold water (this is best done one day in advance) then grate. Chop the chives and add to the grated potato together with the orange zest and mix. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Shape cakes and refrigerate for one hour before cooking.

Chop and fry duck bones with vegetables and herbs add half a bottle of red wine and reduce by half. Add duck stock and continue to reduce to sauce consistency. Remove sauce from heat and strain.

Preheat oil in frying pan and shallow-fry potato cakes until golden brown. Then place in a preheated oven for a further 5-10 minutes to cook through.

Peel the raw beetroot and slice thinly. Deep-fry beetroot slices in vegetable for 2-3 minutes until crisp.

Preheat olive oil in a frying pan and seal seasoned duck breasts on both sides. Place duck breasts in a preheated oven (200íC) for no more than five minutes until pink then leave to rest.

Grate the horseradish and blend into the double cream adding the juice of half a lemon. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Dress the watercress with horseradish dressing.

To serve whisk butter into sauce slice duck breasts and fan at the centre of a plate lightly cover the duck with 3tbs of jus and garnish with the watercress and beetroot crisps.

Patrick Williams: "It's about keeping it simple - not overcrowding the flavours"

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