Duck Breast with the Best Sautéed Potatoes

Posted By Stephen

We have had a couple of memorable successes with duck breasts before, particularly with rösti, but recent rösti attempts have been less successful so we decided on sautéed potatoes to accompany these instead.  Armed with a large bag of potatotes and the last two duck breasts from the shelf in Waitrose, we set about preparing.  We served it with a redcurrant and red wine sauce and some sautéed greens of the sort that we ate for seven days in a row a few weeks back.

It turned out very well indeed.  The duck breast was cooked pinkish, just how we wanted it to be, the sauce had (almost) just the right amount of everything in it and the potatoes turned out to be the best ever.  The potatoes were the big revelation from this meal; we have cooked them many times and I think it was the addition of garlic this time round that made a big difference.  Along with letting them crisp up slowly while the sauce and duck cooked.

Duck breasts

2 duck breasts
salt and pepper

Score the skin side a few times, this will allow the fat to cook out more easily. Heat a frying pan on medium heat and put the duck breasts in skin side down. Cook for about ten minutes; the fat will render out from under the skin and should leave the skin nice and crispy and you’ll end up with lots of fat in the pan. Then turn them over and cook for another five. Remove and let them rest.

Redcurrant and Juniper Sauce

3 shallots, finely chopped
glass of red wine
half glass of chicken stock
tablespoon of redcurrant jelly
sprig of thyme
bay leaf
5 juniper berries
salt and pepper
red wine vinegar (1/2 tsp or so)
1 tsp cornflour

Pour the red wine into a small saucepan along with the stock, thyme, bay, juniper and redcurrant jelly. Bring to the boil and lower the heat to a simmer and leave it for another ten minutes. Taste and add salt, pepper and vinegar to taste as you see fit. Mix the cornflour with a dash of water and then add it to the sauce to thicken it, stirring all the time.

Sautéed Potatoes

Potatoes (preferably a fairly waxy variety; we used Désirée)
Half a medium to large onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic
1 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper
olive oil

Slice the potatoes and boil or steam until almost cooked. Slice into 1cm cubes. While this is happening, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over low to medium heat. Add the onion and allow to soften for five minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 5 minutes. Just allow these to soften, not brown – there will be plenty of opportunity for that later! Then add the cubed potatoes, with a little extra oil if it looks like it needs it. Season liberally with salt and pepper and thyme. Cook on a low heat for 20 to 30 minutes, shaking the pan and turning the potatoes frequently to allow them to brown on all sides. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, pepper or herbs as you see fit.

Dec 3rd, 2010

7 Comments to 'Duck Breast with the Best Sautéed Potatoes'

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  1. Lizzie said,

    I was once told for crispest results start the duck skin side down in a cold pan and bring it up to temperature; i’ve never done a test though. That redcurrant sauce looks delicious.

  2. Stephen said,

    Lizzie I have heard that too and might inadvertently have done it this time without really thinking about it. Should have done one each way to compare 🙂

  3. This looks absolutely mouth-watering. I think I need to go pick up some duck breast after work. Thanks!

  4. Kerri said,

    Thanks, Steve. I hope you enjoy your duck!

  5. Emily said,

    That looks so yummy! I love duck but being a poor student I can’t really afford it. I also love your Cath Kidston crockery 😀

  6. Kerri said,

    Thanks, Emily. Have a good look in the supermarkets over the next week or so, duck breasts are often reduced at this time of year since people have so much other meat to deal with.

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