I've decided to do this funky little dish in bite size, you could certainly scale it up and use one duck breast per person.


  • cocktail sticks
  • 2 nice big plump duck breasts trimmed, but with skin on
  • 2 tblsp sunflower oil
  • 1 star anise
  • 100 ml sherry vinegar
  • 75 g brown sugar
  • for the champ
  • 6 nice peeled potatoes
  • 4 spring onions chopped
  • 75 g butter
  • 150 ml milk or enough milk to make a soft creamy mash
  • salt and pepper
  • grated nutmeg


  • Boil the potatoes with a pinch of salt.
  • To make the caramel, put the sugar vinegar and star anaise into a pan, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and allow to reduce by 1/3, set aside.
  • Season the duck on the flesh side
  • Preheat a frying pan, add the oil and sear the duck flesh side first and then turn over to skin side. Turn down the heat and allow to cook for 5 minutes, turn the duck once more and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and place on between 2 plates to keep warm and rest.
  • Meanwhile strain the potatoes, and mash as finely as you can a mouli or ricer would be perfect for this.
  • Whip in the milk, butter, salt, pepper and nutmeg, then add the spring onions and keep warm. The champ should be a cross between a mash and a sauce, if its too thick, add a little more milk.
  • To finish put the caramel onto a gentle boil until it starts to get sticky.
  • Cut the duck in the middle from top to bottom, then across into nuggets, drain on kitchen paper then put into the caramel and remove from the heat.
  • Spoon the champ into small bowls, stick the cocktail sticks into the duck and drain off excess caramel, then nestle into the little bowls of champ
family dinners irish mains entertaining martin & paul's surf 'n' turf