Duck breast with rhubarb purée and walnut granola

  • medium
  • 2
  • 50 minutes

This sublime duck dish can be dished up inside an hour and looks impressive on the plate. Chef Adam Stokes combines tart rhubarb, poached in a sweet liquor of vanilla and star anise, with a crunchy, savoury granola to provide a dish bursting with texture.

First published in 2015




Gressingham duck

Rhubarb purée

  • 100g of rhubarb
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 vanilla pod, split and seeds reserved
  • 10g of caster sugar

Savoury granola

Autumn soy vegetables


  • Deep fat fryer
  • Fine strainer


For the purée, wash and roughly chop the rhubarb and combine with the sugar, star anise and vanilla in a small pan
Add enough water to cover and place over a medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until the rhubarb is tender. This should take around 10-15 minutes
Strain the rhubarb, remove the star anise and reserve the liquid. Add the rhubarb to the blender and blitz until smooth - you may need some of the reserved liquid to achieve the right consistency. Pass the purée through a fine strainer and set aside to cool
For the granola, toast the almonds and pine nuts in the oven at 180˚C/gas mark 4 until golden but not too brown. Toast the coriander seeds in a pan over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes - move them around a few times as they toast. Remove from the pan and crush with a mortar and pestle
For the garlic crisps, peel and thinly slice (preferably using a mandolin) 2 cloves of garlic. Place the garlic slices into a small pan and cover in cold milk. Bring the milk up to 70˚C, strain off the milk and set aside the slices on a paper towel to dry
Set the deep fryer to 160˚C and deep fry the slices at 160˚C for 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oil and drain on kitchen towel
  • vegetable oil
Once cooled, crumble the crisps into a breadcrumb like consistency. Combine with the rest of the granola ingredients and season with the walnut oil, salt and lemon zest. Store in a warm, dry place until required
For the duck, place a frying pan over a medium heat and add oil. Season the duck breast and place, skin-side down, into the pan. Cook until nicely browned, approximately 7-8 minutes
Tip the breast over and remove the pan from the heat. The residual heat of the pan will finish cooking the breast to medium rare. Allow to rest in a warm place
Meanwhile, clean and slice the baby turnips into three vertical pieces, leaving the stalk attached to each piece for presentation. Pan-fry in a little olive oil until lightly golden and season with salt. Blanch the baby leeks, remove and pat-dry with kitchen towel
Lightly sprinkle the sugar and salt over the red endive leaves and using a blowtorch, lightly caramelise all over - alternatively, you can place under a grill. Remove the duck breast from the pan and discard 3/4 of the fat
  • salt
  • 2 heads Belgian endive, red, 12 leaves only
  • 1 pinch of sugar
Place a frying pan over a medium/high heat and add olive oil. Once the pan is hot, add the baby leeks and sauté for 2 minutes before adding a generous splash of soy sauce. Toss the leeks in the soy until nicely until evenly glazed
Return the pan containing the duck back to a high heat, cook for a minute to crisp up the skin. Remove from the heat and keep the duck warm
To serve, slice the duck breast and place on top of the granola and small dollops of the rhubarb purée. Finish by arranging the leeks, radish, turnips and chicory on or around the duck. Garnish with some micro coriander and serve immediately
First published in 2015

Adam Stokes has achieved a lot in his career so far – including a Michelin star in two out of his three cheffing jobs. From refined country cuisine in the lowlands of Scotland to more modern, inventive dishes at his own restaurant in the heart of Birmingham, the themes that remain strong are intense flavours, beautiful British ingredients, stunning presentation and intricate technique.

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