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Roast Duck Breasts with Cherry Compote Dressing

A succulent meat mixed with cherry for a delicious flavour!


  • 4 duck breasts

  • 16-20 baby turnips, scraped or washed

  • 225g (8oz) chanterelle mushrooms, trimmed and washed

  • 225g (8oz) baby spinach leaves

  • Juice of 1-2 oranges

  • 50g (2oz) butter, plus 1-2 small extra knobs

  • 1 heaped teaspoon of chopped chives or tarragon

  • For the Cherry Compote

  • Knob of butter

  • 1 red onion, finely chopped

  • Juice of 1 orange

  • 225g (8oz) cherries, pitted

  • Generous splash of Kirsch – optional

  • 100ml (3½ fl oz) red wine

  • 1 tablespoon cherry jam

  • Salt and pepper


  • For the Compote:

  • 1.

    Melt the butter in a saucepan and soften the chopped red onions over a medium heat until tender.

  • 2.

    Add the orange juice, allowing to boil until almost dry.

  • 3.

    Add the cherries and flambé with the Kirsch, if using.

  • 4.

    Add the red wine and jam, also allowing to reduce in volume to a syrup consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

  • For the Duck and Garnish:

  • 1.

    Using a sharp knife, score the duck skin in close lines from side to side. This will help release excess fat as the duck cooks.

  • 2.

    Season the breasts with salt and pepper and place in a dry frying pan over a medium heat, leaving for 10 minutes, until a lot of fat is released and the skin has become golden brown and crispy. Turn the breasts in the pan and continue to shallow fry for a few minutes to a medium rare – medium stage. Remove the breasts from the pan and allow to rest.

  • 3.

    While the duck is frying the turnips can be boiled in salted water until tender before draining and rolling in a knob of butter, seasoning with salt and pepper to finish. The turnips can be halved before finishing if too large.

  • 4.

    The spinach leaves can now be added to the turnips in the butter, allowing them to wilt while warming.

  • 5.

    Fry the chanterelles in a little of the duck fat left in the pan for just a minute or two, before seasoning.

  • 6.

    To finish, quickly boil the orange juice until reduced in volume by two thirds. Whisk in the butter, seasoning with salt and pepper. Finally add the chopped chives.

  • 7.

    Carve the duck breasts and arrange on plates, spooning the turnips, chanterelles and spinach around in a rustic fashion.

  • 8.

    Spoon the cherries and drizzle the syrup over and around, finishing with a little orange and chive butter over each.


• The spinach leaves can be left raw and sprinkled around, creating a warm duck salad finish.

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