November 11, 2014

Duck & Dauphinoise

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When I am home a Sunday rarely goes by that we do not have a long country walk followed by a traditional roast of some kind.

This Sunday was no exception and taking advantage of the crisp autumn weather we did just that. After a long walk, working up a fantastic appetite, we returned home to cook up a great Sunday lunch.

Rather than chicken, always a favourite, this weekend we decided to attempt the perfect roast duck.
Crunchy crispy skin on the outside and tender melt in the mouth for the meat.

Rather than a whole bird we chose the quicker option and decided to use just the duck breasts.

In place of our usual choice of roast potatoes we made the creamiest of Dauphinoise (with a little help from Delia.)

For four you will need...

4 duck breasts
3/4 sprigs of fresh thyme
A good chunk of butter
Salt and Pepper
3 large potatoes peeled and sliced thinly
3 small onions chopped
Extra butter for dotting between the layers of potato
300ml Veg stock
300ml milk (or cream if you are feeling indulgent)
A generous pinch of ground nutmeg

And whatever other veg you fancy to accompany.

Start by preparing your duck

Score the top of the skin and season with salt and pepper.

Leave the duck to one side and start to slice up your potatoes, if you have a mandolin or a mixer with a slicing attachment this speeds up the process and leaves you with perfect thin slices.

Grease the tin well with butter and cover the bottom with a layer of potato, sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper, some chopped onion and knobs of butter, repeat the layers until you have run out of potato (about two more layers) and then finish with a good sprinkling of nutmeg and dot with some more butter. 

Place in a preheated oven (180C) for 45 mins until nice and golden on top.

Start your duck cooking after the potatoes have been in for half an hour. 

Heat up a pan with some butter and fresh thyme. Place the duck skin side down cook like this for about 5 mins until the skin is crispy, repeat with all four pieces of duck.

Once crispy place flesh side down into a roasting pan with some extra thyme and roast for a further 8 mins if you like your duck pink or 12 if you like it well done.

Once your duck is resting you can take out the potatoes which should be bubbly and golden and smelling delicious. 

A perfect Sunday roast.

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