Breast of Madgett's farm duck with potato pancakes

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This roast duck recipe features a quadruple hit of apple flavours — fresh fruit, juice, cider and Calvados — giving a smooth sweet finish to the sauce for roast duck breasts. You need to buy whole ducks for this recipe by Bryan Webb, as the carcasses are used for the sauce. The leftover legs are a great excuse to make duck confit. Potato pancakes provide a starchy base to mop up all the delicious juices on the plate.

First published in 2015




Roast duck

Potato pancakes



  • Fine sieve
  • Blini pans


Begin this roast duck recipe by preheating the oven to 220°C/gas mark 7. Bone out the ducks and trim the breasts, reserving the fat and legs. Chop the bones, place in a roasting tin and roast until golden brown
Meanwhile, peel the apples and cut into small dice, reserving the peel, core and trimmings. Melt the butter in a saucepan and cook the diced apple for a few minutes. Add the calvados then set aside
Remove the roasted bones from the oven. Drain any fat from the tray into a large saucepan. Slice the shallots and chop the carrot and celery and add them to the pan. Cook until lightly browned, then drain off the fat. Add the bones and pour in the cider and apple juice. Bring to the boil, add the thyme, bay leaves and apple trimmings and boil for 5 minutes. Add the chicken and veal stocks plus just enough cold water to cover the solids. Bring to a gentle simmer, skim thoroughly then leave to simmer for 1 hour
Drain the contents of the pan though a fine sieve into a clean saucepan and reduce to a slightly thick sauce. Add the cooked apple and pan juices and set aside
To make the potato pancakes, peel and quarter the potatoes then cook them in a pan of boiling salted water until tender. Drain, then while still hot put them though a blender to purée and set aside to cool. Do not over blend to avoid the texture becoming gluey
Once the potatoes are completely cool, put them in a mixing bowl with the milk, cream and flour. Beat in the whole eggs one at a time
  • 3 tbsp of milk
  • 3 tbsp of single cream
  • 3 tbsp of plain flour
  • 3 eggs
In a large clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form then fold them into the batter
Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas mark 7. Season the duck breasts. Place two breasts into a large frying pan skin-side down and cook until golden. Turn over and continue cooking for 1 minute, then transfer the duck to an oven tray. Drain off the fat from the frying pan and repeat with the other breasts
Roast the breasts for 10 minutes then leave to rest in a warm place for a further 10 minutes while you cook the pancakes and spinach
To cook the pancakes, heat a blini pan with some sunflower oil until hot, then tip out the oil. Put a ladle of pancake mixture in the pan, leave on the heat for a few seconds, and then place in the oven (or under the grill) until the pancake is firm to the touch and lightly browned. Keep warm while you repeat with the remaining batter
  • sunflower oil
Just before serving, cook the spinach. Have ready a bowl with a sieve over it. Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the spinach and stir over a moderate heat until the leaves have wilted. Season to taste then drain in the sieve
To serve, put two pancakes on each warmed serving plate and top with a spoonful of spinach. Carve the duck breasts and arrange them on top. Spoon over the sauce (reheated if necessary) and serve at once
First published in 2015

Showcasing quality ingredients from his native Wales, Bryan Webb cooks French-inflected dishes that champion simplicity and gutsy flavour.

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