Friday, 14 May 2010

How To Cook Duck and Raspberry Sauce

I am not a good cook by any stretch of the imagination- I do cakes and biscuits well, but not savoury. But as a part of the bonding with boyfriend/making more effort thing, I decided to make dinner tonight. I adapted a recipe for pan fried duck that I got from the BBC website as follows.

If you feel the need to emulate my culinary prowess (if I can do it so can you) you will need: two duck breasts, vegetables of your choice for roasting, salt, garlic, thyme, rosemary, balsamic vinegar, orange juice, 50 g raspberries.

Cut the skin of the duck in a diamond pattern and rub salt into it, and prep your vegetables. So I peeled potatoes and put them on to parboil, parboiled carrots, cut squash into chunks and squashed my garlic.

The prep work is important, because it means that you're free to whack everything into pans etc all at once. And yes, whack in is a technical cooking term in my house.

Fry the duck skin side down in a hot pan for 6 mins, then turn and do it for about 6 mins on the other side. The beeb says 4-5 mins on each, but I found it was a little underdone. Parboil any veg that need it, and fry your squash, garlic and herbs for 3 mins to soften the squash.

When the duck is done, put it on a plate to "rest" and keep the juices in the pan. No one really knows what this means. Well, chefs and people who can cook probably do, but I think it has something to do with the meat relaxing, re-juicing itself and becoming tender. While the duck is resting (I assume it's meant to be fairly cold when you serve it) you roast your veg and make the sauce. Veg roasting takes place in the oven at 180 Celsius. Don't ask me what that is in gas marks. Tough things like potato take longer than squash, which takes about 20mins.

The sauce is the fun bit, you take the ducky juices, whack them in a pan with 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and simmer it to reduce it by half. Whack in the juice of an orange, 50g of raspberries and boil until the fruit is all pulpy and delicious. The the BBC says you should strain and blend it. I just pushed it through a metal sieve, and it had a similar effect. It's really tasty, and the boyfriend couldn't believe I've made it.

Slice the duck up into thick slices, pour some sauce over and arrange the veg in a pleasing fashion. Really easy. And it got me the nice iced lollipop from the fridge....

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