Pan-Roasted Duck Breast with Mini Fondant Potatoes Recipe

(140 ratings)

Pan roasted duck breast with mini fondant potatoes photo
Pan roasted duck breast with mini fondant potatoes photo
(Image credit: Masterchef: The Finalists)

For the fondant potatoes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6. Peel the potatoes and cut out two cylinders from each one using a 5cm metal cutter (you want eight cylinders in total). Neaten the top and bottom with a knife so they are flat
  2. Heat an ovenproof frying pan and melt the butter with the oil. Add the potatoes and colour them all over – top and bottom and on the sides; use tongs to turn them
  3. Add the thyme, garlic and stock to the pan. Cover with a cartouche (a circle of buttered greaseproof paper that will cover the pan completely) and transfer to the oven. Cook for 40-45 minutes or until the potatoes are soft and cooked through; halfway through the cooking, baste the potatoes with the stock so the tops don’t dry out (then replace the cartouche)
  4. Make the other elements of the dish while the potatoes are in the oven

For the carrot and cumin purée:

  1. Cook the carrots in a pan of boiling water until tender
  2. Drain and place in a blender with the olive oil, cumin and some salt and pepper
  3. Blend for 4-5 minutes or until very smooth
  4. Spoon into a saucepan and set aside, ready to reheat for serving.

For the duck breasts:

  1. Score the skin on the duck breasts, without cutting into the flesh. Season both sides of each breast
  2. Place the breasts skin side down in a cold non-stick frying pan (starting in a cold pan will render the fat slowly)
  3. Set on the heat and cook for 4-5 minutes or until the skin has a good colour and is crisp
  4. Add the garlic cloves and thyme and turn the breasts over. Reduce the heat and cook for 4-5 minutes. Turn the breasts on to the skin side again and cook for 3 minutes. Turn over and cook for another 3 minutes, then turn once more and cook on the skin side for a final 2 minutes. The total cooking time will be 18 minutes
  5. Remove the duck breasts from the pan and leave to rest in a warm place for 5-7 minutes while you make the jus.

For the red port jus:

  1. Remove the garlic and thyme from pan (discard these) and skim off excess fat
  2. Deglaze the frying pan with the port, then add the redcurrant jelly and whisk until melted
  3. Add the shallots, thyme sprigs, garlic and stock to the pan. Bring to the boil and reduce by half. Pass through a sieve into a saucepan
  4. Gradually whisk in the butter and season to taste. Keep warm

To serve:

  1. Make a line of carrot purée on each plate
  2. Cut each duck breast into four slices and arrange in a criss-cross line on the other side of the plate, with a fondant potato at each end
  3. Drizzle a little jus over the duck and garnish with some pea shoots. Garnish the carrot purée with red amaranth.

Taken from Masterchef: The Finalists (£20; Absolute Press)


For the fondant potatoes:

  • 4 even-sized large Desiree potatoes
  • a large knob of unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed
  • 250ml chicken stock (or duck stock if you have it)

For the carrot and cumin purée:

  • 4 carrots, cut into 2cm pieces
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • a pinch of ground cumin
  • For the duck breasts
  • 4 large duck breasts
  • 4 garlic cloves (unpeeled), crushed
  • 4 sprigs of thyme

For the red port jus:

  • 100ml port
  • 3 tablespoons redcurrant jelly
  • 2 shallots, roughly chopped
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 200ml chicken stock
  • 25g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste

To garnish:

  • growing pea shoots
  • micro red amaranth