Firstly, remove the duck breasts from the packaging and score
the skin without going into the flesh. (A sharp knife or a clean
Stanley blade purely used for scoring meat is a great chef tool).
Pat dry and leave to air dry for 30 minutes or so.
Next, pre heat the oven to 180°C. Taking a heavy bottomed
frying pan, sprinkle the base with a little salt and lay the
breasts skin side down on a cool to medium pan.
Gently render the fat from under the skin creating a golden
crisp skin. This takes about 5 minutes, and must not be rushed
otherwise you will end up with a soggy end result.
Next fry the flesh side of the duck for no more than 30 seconds
to seal in the juices. Drain the excess fat away carefully and
reserve for later use.
Turn the breasts back onto their skin and transfer to a hot
oven for 8 to 10 minutes depending on how pink you like them
Once cooked rest skin side up on a wire rack in a warm place
for 5 minutes or so.
For the garnish take 6 button onions per person, and lay in a
wide based pan so they're flat. Cover with chicken stock, a few
sprigs of marjoram or thyme and a nob of butter and simmer until
tender with a tight fitting lid on the pan. Try not to boil
otherwise the onions may fall to bits.
Once tender add a 100 g of fresh podded peas per person or a
mix of peas and broad beans. Simmer in broth for 3 to 4 minutes and
thicken with a little corn flour mixed with some cold water to form
a paste. Next, mix into hot broth; 1 tablespoon will do for 4
Finally take a clean round lettuce and shred roughly before
adding to the broth, simmer again for a couple of minutes, before
checking the seasoning and serving straight away.
Divide the garnish into deep bowls, including the cooking
Carve the duck into thick slices, cutting through the breast
crossways. Place on top of the peas and enjoy.
A nice addition is to finely slice some smoked duck breast and
add this to the garnish just before serving, alongside some steamed
seasonal new or mids potatoes.