Duck with sour cherry sauce and potato rosti

Diana Dodog's signature dish from Heat 2 of MasterChef 2014


  • 2 female barbary duck breast
  • 100 g sour cherries preferably/ fresh cherries
  • 2 tblsp sechuan peppercorns
  • maldon sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • 100 ml pinot noir
  • 30 ml port (sweet ruby)
  • 250 g butter
  • 2 fresh bayleaf
  • bunch of fresh thyme
  • 1 cinnamon quill
  • 2 star anise
  • 150ml good quality chicken stock
  • 2 tblsp honey
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 2 shallots
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 100 ml groundnut oil
  • 50 g green beans
  • 50 g sugar snap peas
  • 2 tblsp micro herbs (parsley and coriander)
  • 4 large potatoes (desire type of charlotte)
  • 1 large bowl of ice


  1. Heat a saucepan with equal amount of water and sugar.
  2. Zest lemon and heat your sugar syrup.
  3. In another pan sweat finely chopped shallots and garlic with a bit of thyme. After 4 minutes add chicken stock.
  4. Tie the muslin into a small bouquet garni- fill it with star anise, cinnamon, and bay leaf.
  5. Lower the muslin into the sugar syrup pot. Add cherries, then a few minutes later add red wine and port.
  6. Simmer it for 2-3 minutes, then take the cherries out.
  7. Strain the chicken stock into the sugar syrup saucepan and cook it for further few minutes until reduced by half.
  8. In the meantime grate the potatoes, season them and set them aside to draw the moisture out.
  9. In a pot clarify 70g butter.
  10. Squeeze the potatoes out and add clarified butter and the thyme.
  11. Back to the sauce:
  12. Add the cherries back and take it off the heat.
  13. Swirl in a knob of butter(20g), just shake it into the sauce. Set it aside.
  14. Heat another pot water and salt, and blanch the green vegetables for 1 minute.
  15. Plunge them into iced water to keep the colour.
  16. Move onto the duck.
  17. Heat oven to190C. Score the skin. Rub the duck with the Szechuan pepper and sea salt.
  18. In a dry cast iron pan fry it slowly skin side down.
  19. When it is crispy and the fat rendered out turn it onto meat side and seal it for another two minutes. Pour off excess fat.
  20. Finish it in the oven, roast it skin side down for about 8 minutes.
  21. In the meantime:
  22. Fry the potato rosti in a drop of groundnut oil until crisp on both sides.
  23. Place it on paper towel.
  24. Heat vegetables in 15 g butter, season with salt and pepper.
  25. Take the duck out of the oven and rest covered with aluminium foil.
  26. Heat the sauce.
  27. Assemble the dish:
  28. Rosti on the bottom, green veg. on top of that, duck sits on top sliced.
  29. Pour over sauce and place micro herbs accordingly.

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