One duck breast per person
For the star anise duck sauce
- 25g granulated sugar
- 4 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 450ml brown duck stock
- 2 tsp redcurrant jelly
- 2 star anise, broken up
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
For the carrot puree
- 250g carrots, peeled
- 200ml carrot juice
- 100g unsalted butter
- 5 ml lemon juice
- 1 sprig thyme
- 2g salt
To prepare the duck breast:
- Season the duck breast, then leave in fridge overnight to dry out; this will help it crisp up.
- Score the skin in parallel lines, being careful not to cut all the way to the flesh.
- Put the breasts skin-side down in a cold frying pan and slowly heat the pan. This will melt the fat and help the skin to crisp up without burning.
- Fry the breasts, letting the fat melt out and the skin crisp up. Keep frying until the skin is crisp and brown and you melted out as much of the visible white fat as possible. This can take up to 10-15 mins.
- Pour the excess fat into a container, turn the breast and add butter and swirl the pan, then cook for 5 mins until the meat is browned all over (the meat should feel soft but spring back slightly when pressed). If you have a meat thermometer, it should read 54C for rare, 61C for medium and 65C for medium/well done.
- Rest the duck breast for 10 mins before slicing to serve.
For the star anise sauce
- Put the sugar and vinegar in a small pan and place over a low heat, stir until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and cook until it has turned into an amber-coloured caramel.
- Add the duck stock, redcurrant jelly and star anise. Bring to the boil and boil rapidly until it has reduced by three-quarters/ sauce consistency.
- Stir in the lemon juice and strain.
For the carrot purée
- Split the carrots lengthways and thinly slice.
- Pick the leaves off the thyme sprig.
- In a medium saucepan, place carrots, carrot juice, butter, thyme and salt. Cook over high heat just until it starts to boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and continue to cook until the carrots are tender and soft - about 20 minutes.
- Once the carrots are soft and tender enough that you can mash, transfer them to a blender with a slotted spoon. There should be cooking liquid left in the pan. Start with adding 1/2 of it to the blender along with the lemon juice.
- If the mixture is not blending well add more liquid until the puree is blending and there is a vortex. Once the puree is smooth pass through a sieve and adjust the seasoning
Serve the duck with baby carrots, baby turnip, and mini cauliflower, along with the carrot purée and star anise jus.
Recipe courtesy of Eric Kavanagh, executive chef at the Herbert Restaurant in Cahernane House Hotel.