I’ve been giving myself a bit of a holiday from the blog lately. No particular reason – just lots of things going on!
I’ve still been cooking, but mainly using recipes I’ve already published to make things a bit speedier in the evenings, so I haven’t had anything new to share with you.
Tonight is different though. We’ve been watching Masterchef, which I love although whenever the poor amateurs have to go in a professional kitchen I get a bit panicky. Hubby and I used to play a game when we had time, based on a Masterchef challenge, where you can make any meal using just the ingredients already available in the kitchen. That was great fun.
This weekend, hubby was away most of the time and so I said I would make him something special for tea tonight. When I asked what he wanted, he said ‘your calling card’. This is the first challenge on Masterchef, and it’s supposed to be your signature dish. I don’t really have a signature dish, and I’d never made this one before, but I really enjoyed the process of putting together a more complex, time consuming dish than the ones I normally make.
I soaked the duck breasts in brine (made from salt, water and bay leaves) overnight before starting. I woud recommend you do this if you make the dish – it really helps the meat keep in the moisture.
This will take an hour (not counting the soaking time above) and will serve 2, with leftovers.
Pan Fried Duck Breast with White Bean Puree, Leeks, and Spring Onion and Prosecco Sauce
2 duck breasts
For the leeks:
4 rashers smoked bacon
10ml double cream
For the puree:
3 cloves garlic
2 x 400g tins butter beans
10ml double cream
For the sauce:
20g plain flour
6 spring onions
2 large glasses prosecco
1. For the duck breasts, first make your brine. You’ll need approx 20g salt, 200ml water and 4 bay leaves. Mix together in a bowl, then add your duck breasts. Make sure they’re completely covered in the liquid, then cover with cling film and leave in the fridge overnight.
2. For the puree, finely slice the garlic and add to a sauce pan with the butter. Cook gently for a minute, then add the butter beans and water from one tin, and just the butter beans from the other tin. Simmer gently until the beans are soft, then whizz with a food processor. Add the cream and a little water if it’s too thick, then season.
3. For the leeks, chop the bacon into small chunks and cook over a high heat until golden. Lower the heat and add the finely sliced leeks along with 50ml water. Simmer gently for 15 minutes, then add the cream and seasoning.
4. For the sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan and add the flour and spring onions. Take off the heat and stir in the prosecco a little at a time. Put back on the heat and bring up to the boil, stirring all the time. Turn off the heat, then season (you may want to add a little sugar if it’s too tart).
5. For the duck, remove from the brine and rinse under the tap. Dry the fat, then place fat side down in a cold pan. Turn on the heat and cook, fat side down, for 15 minutes. You may need to drain away some of the fat during the cooking. Flip the duck and cook on the meat side for 2 minutes, then remove from the pan and rest for no less than 5 minutes.
6. Done! Serve the sliced duck breast with the leeks and puree, and the sauce poured over the top. Enjoy with a glass of prosecco!