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Duck Breast with Madeira Sauce

The Titanic conjures up images of luxury and elegance. This recipe is my homage to the chef, who went down with the ship and the recipes he created on board. I cooked it in the actual room in the Harland & Wolf


  • 2 x 200g duck breast fillets, skin on

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Vegetable Roesti:

  • 1 potato, peeled and grated

  • 1 carrot, peeled and grated

  • 1 white (or yellow carrot), peeled and grated

  • 1 zucchini or courgette, grated

  • ½ egg, beaten

  • 1 ½ tablespoons (30g) butter

  • Madeira Sauce:

  • ½ cup (125ml) madeira or sherry

  • ½ cup (125ml) chicken stock

  • 1 tablespoon redcurrant jelly

  • Juice of 1 orange

  • Juice of ½ lemon or to taste


  • 1.

    Cut deep slashes in the duck skin. Season with salt and pepper. Place in a cold medium frying pan, skin side down, place over medium heat, for about 6 - 8 minutes or until skin is well browned and fat rendered. Turn duck breasts and cook, flesh side down for two minutes for medium-rare or longer if you prefer. Transfer to a warmed plate and cover loosely with foil and allow to rest for five minutes while you make the sauce.

  • 2.

    Meanwhile to make vegetable roesti remove excess water from vegetables by placing all in a clean tea towel and squeezing over a medium bowl. Tip water out of bowl, add in vegetables and combine with egg. Melt half the butter in a small frying pan over medium high heat then add the vegetable mixture. As vegetables begin to cook and soften push down with a potato masher to flatten. When cooked on one side, cover pan with a plate and invert it. Add remaining butter to the pan and slip the roesti into the pan, uncooked side downwards. Push down again.

  • 3.

    For sauce: pour duck fat from pan and deglaze pan with madeira, chicken stock and red currant jelly. Whisk to combine. Add strained orange and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add a little water if the sauce evaporates too much.

  • 4.

    To serve, slice roesti in half and place on serving plate. Top with duck breast, carved into thick slices and spoon over the sauce.

  • Lyndey’s Note: Scoring the skin and starting with a cold pan renders more fat on the duck, resulting in a much crisper skin.:

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