With a perfectly crispy skin and juicy pink meat, duck breasts are a short-cut to luxury. The sauce is quick to make but richly flavoured. The sweetness of the redcurrant jelly is cut through?by the acidity of the vinegar. If you don't have redcurrant jelly, strained blackberry or raspberry jam will do just as well.
- 4 duck breasts (with the skin and fat left on)
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- for the redcurrant jelly sauce:
- 2 shallots or 1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 6 tblsp redcurrant jelly
- 2 tblsp red wine vinegar
- juice of 2 oranges
- Using a sharp knife, score the duck breasts with 3 long cuts, diagonally, at 2.5cm (1in) intervals through the skin, but not the meat. Repeat crossways to form a grid pattern. Season on both sides with salt and pepper.
- Place a frying pan on a medium heat, immediately add the duck breasts, skin side down, and after 2 minutes turn the heat down to low. Continue to cook, pouring off the fat every so often into a bowl (see also the tip below), for 10–15 minutes or until the skin is crisp. Increase the heat to medium and turn over the duck breasts. Cook for 4–6 minutes, depending on the thickness of the breasts and how cooked you like the duck, then turn off the heat and allow to rest for a few minutes before serving.
- Meanwhile, make the sauce. Add 2–3 tablespoons of the duck fat to a frying pan and place on a medium heat. Tip in the shallots or onion and cook for 5 minutes or until softened but not browned, then stir in the jelly, vinegar and orange juice. Allow to bubble and reduce for 3–5 minutes or until the mixture is syrupy in consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste, adding more jelly or vinegar if necessary.
- Serve the duck breasts either whole or cut into slices, and drizzled with the sauce.
You can pour any leftover duck fat into a screw-top jar and keep in the fridge for future use. It’s perfect for basting roast potatoes!
More by Rachel Allen:
- Steak and watercress bearnaise
- Ivan's chinese crispy mackerel pancakes
- Smocked haddock and cockle soup