A tasty start to the new year...

Happy new year to all the peeps out there in blog land, time for a new post to start 2015.

I had a few duck breasts in the freezer and thought I should liberate them for a special dinner with friends last week. This is an easy recipe and is super tasty with the addition of Chinese five spice and brandy. Plus the cherries go really well with the duck to finish off the dish. Marinating the duck overnight does make a big difference to the flavour so a little forward planing doesn't hurt!

And no the duck skin isn't burnt in the photos! The five spice goes black on the duck skin when it's fried to get the crispy duck skin. Just in case you thought I had lost my touch and was now cremating my food! Enjoy.

Recipe by Australian Women's Weekly

6  (200g) duck breast fillets - skin on
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tspn Chinese five spice
2 tspn sea salt flakes
ground black pepper
1/2 c brandy
6 french shallots - peeled & chopped finely
30 fresh cherries - pitted & halved
parsley to garnish

Trim any excess fat or sinew off the duck breasts and score skins in a criss cross pattern. Combine the brown sugar, five spice and salt in a small bowl. Season duck breasts with freshly ground black pepper, then rub the mixture into the scored skin. 

Put the brandy in a shallow non metallic container. Add the duck breasts, skin side up. Cover and marinate for at least an hour or overnight in the refrigerator.
Pre heat oven to 220C (fan forced 200C).

Remove the duck from the marinade, and reserve the marinade liquid. Heat a frying pan over a high heat. Sear the duck breasts skin side down until browned. Place the duck breasts skin side up, on a rack set over a baking tray. Roast for 15 mins.

While the duck breasts are cooking, remove most of the duck fat from the fry pan leaving approx 1 tspn. Heat the frypan over medium heat, add the shallots and cook for 1 minute. Add the cherries and cook for another minute then add the reserved marinade. Cook for a further minute then remove from heat. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Remove the duck from the oven. If the duck skin hasn’t crisped up in the oven, put the duck breasts under the grill for 1 minute. Cover and rest duck breasts for 5 minutes before serving.

Serve sliced duck breasts with cherry sauce and garnished with parsley, steamed fresh asparagus and roasted potatoes.

Serves 6


All Images © Deborah Aspray - Motif Lifestyle Images Ltd 2015


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