Agnar Sverrisson's dish comprises of many component parts - each as delicious as the next. You will need to spend some time preparing this duck breast with fig recipe, but it is absolutely worth the effort. The aniseed flavour of fennel works well against the figs which perfectly tie together this duck breast dish.

For the duck confit, sprinkle the duck legs with the salt and Chinese five-spice, lay in a dish and chill for at least 3 hours or overnight
Heat the oven to 140°C/Gas mark 1
Wipe the excess salt and spice off the legs and put them in a dish that fits them snugly. Warm the duck fat until liquid and pour over enough to cover the legs
Cook for 2 ½ hours. Put the legs in a clean storage dish, pour over the fat and chill until needed
For the fig purée, bring all the ingredients up a boil and cook for 3 minutes until the alcohol has burned off. There should still be liquid left in the pan
Pour everything into a blender and blend to a smooth purée. Pass through a fine sieve. This will keep for sometime in the fridge
For the fennel powder, put the fennel seeds on a baking tray and cook for 1-2 minutes or until toasted
Roughly chop to a coarse powder. Cool and store in an airtight container
For the duck sauce, reduce the red wine by 1/3. Roast 500g duck bones and bring the chicken stock to a boil. Put 1/2 bones into the stock, cook for 45 minutes and then sieve
Repeat with the remaining cooked bones. Stir in the xantham gum and season with salt, red wine, fig purée and vinegar
Bring back to a simmer and add the remaining raw bones, and cook for 10-15 minutes. Sieve, then add the fennel seeds, garlic and thyme and infuse for 1-2 minutes. Sieve again
For the confit fennel, heat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4
Cut the fennel into 2cm thick slices. Put a little oil in a large pan and add the slices cut side down, season with salt and sweat for 2-3 minutes on each side
Add the Pernod, Noilly Prat and star anise and cover. Cook for 20-30 minutes or until tender
For the fig and fennel purée, put the oil, fennel, water and salt in a pan, cover and sweat over a high heat until soft
Add the milk, bring to the boil and then pour into a blender. Add 60g of the fig purée and blend. Pass through a fine sieve
For the confit figs, split the figs in half lengthways and put on a baking tray cut side up. Reduce the red wine by half and drizzle over the remaining essence
Place under a low grill for 5 minutes or until the figs are slow-cooked and soft. Sprinkle with fennel powder
For the duck, season the duck breasts. Put them in a cold frying pan skin side down over a low heat. Slowly cook the breasts until they start to brown and the fat renders out, which should take about 10-15 minutes
When they are brown enough, turn them over and cook the other side for 2-3 minutes. They will shorten in length and get fatter as they cook
Pierce with a skewer to see if they are cooked; the juices should run clear. Rest for 5 minutes. Remove the skin and halve lengthways to serve
To finish the duck legs, scrape the excess fat off the duck legs, put them on an oven rack over a roasting tin and cook for 15-20 minutes until heated through and crisp
For the Swiss chard, blanch the leaves in salted boiling water, then refresh in iced water. Warm through in the duck sauce when needed
Spoon some sauce into the centre of the plate. Place a droplet of purée onto the side of the plate. Position a piece of the duck breast on top of the sauce, with a piece of the confit duck to the right
Place a confit fig and confit fennel to the left, and scatter the plate with the chard. Serve immediately
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Wine Matching

Find out why we suggest matching this Duck breast with fig recipe with a medium and round red wine



Confit figs

Confit fennel

Fig and fennel purée

  • 2.5ml of olive oil
  • 250g of fennel, finely chopped
  • 50ml of water
  • 2.5g of salt
  • 50ml of milk

Duck confit

Fig purée

  • 500g of dried figs
  • 200ml of water
  • 200ml of red wine
  • 200ml of port

Duck sauce

Fennel powder

Swiss chard

  • 500g of Swiss chard, stems removed


  1. Blender
  2. Fine sieve

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Agnar Sverrisson prepares a triumphant duck dish, adding confit fig, five-spice and fennel to the plate.

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