Roast Challans duck with confit leg sarladaise, cime de rapa and blackcurrant sauce

  • medium
  • 6
  • 2 hours plus confiting time and overnight marinating and setting time
Not yet rated

Tony Fleming's roast duck dish is served with potatoes sarladaises – a French dish of potatoes cooked in duck fat – with cimi de rapa (turnip tops) and a fruity blackcurrant sauce. Tony uses Challans duck, a high-quality French breed of duck, so use this type if you can find them.

First published in 2021





Braised shallots

Potatoes sarladaises

Blackcurrant sauce

To serve

  • 1 handful of turnip tops, (cime de rapa), leaves stripped from their stalks



You will need to begin this recipe at least a day in advance to give you time to confit the legs, set the potatoes and marinate the shallots. For the shallots, place all the ingredients into a vacuum bag and seal, then leave in the fridge for 24 hours. If you don’t have a vacuum bag, you can simply place all the ingredients in a plastic bag, expel as much air as possible then seal


Carve the legs off the duck and rub them with salt. Set aside in the fridge for at least 4 hours. Carve off the breasts and set aside in the fridge. You can either use the carcasses right away to make a duck stock for the sauce, or reserve them in the freezer for making stock with for another recipe


Once the duck legs have been curing in the salt for at least 4 hours, preheat an oven to 120°C. Quickly rinse the salt off the duck legs, then pat dry and place in a deep ovenproof pan. Cover with duck fat, then cook in the oven for 3 hours to create a duck confit. Once the meat is falling away from the bone, leave to cool in the fat. Remove them from the fat and set aside, reserving 50g of the duck fat for the potatoes


To make the potatoes, preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Combine the cooked grated potato, the reserved 50g of duck fat, the pork belly, thyme, softened shallots and salt in a mixing bowl. Shred the confit duck meat and discard the bones – you will need 175g of confit duck leg meat for this recipe – and stir it into the potatoes


Line a shallow baking tray with baking paper and press the potato mixture onto it to create a neat, even, compact layer. Cover with another sheet of baking paper and bake in the oven for 25 minutes


Leave the mixture to cool, then place another tray on top of the top layer of paper with something heavy on top. Place in the fridge to set overnight


The next day, drain the shallots (reserving the liquid) and pat dry, discarding the thyme and garlic. Place a small saucepan over a medium heat with a dash of oil then add the shallots with a pinch of salt. Cook until golden brown, then pour in the strained liquid and gently simmer and reduce until the shallots are glazed. Keep warm


Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Place the crème de cassis and frozen blackcurrants in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce until the crème de cassis becomes a glaze, then pour in the duck stock and reduce to a sauce consistency (around 500ml). Pass through a fine sieve and set aside to reheat before serving

  • 200ml of creme de cassis
  • 100g of blackcurrants, (frozen)
  • 1l brown duck stock

Remove the potatoes from the fridge – they should have set solid into a block. Cut into 6 pieces, around 3cm thick each, then return to the fridge to pan-fry before serving


To cook the duck, preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Trim any excess skin from the breasts, then score the skin many times on the diagonal. Place the breasts skin-side down in a cold ovenproof pan, then place over a medium heat. Cook until the fat renders and the skin becomes crisp and golden brown, then turn over and seal the flesh side. Once sealed, turn back over so it’s skin-side down and finish cooking in the over for 5-6 minutes


Meanwhile, pan-fry the sarladaises potato slices in a dash of oil until golden brown on 1 side, then transfer to the oven with the duck to finish heating through


When ready to serve, take the duck out of the oven, brush the skin with honey, sprinkle with the peppercorns and set aside to rest. Blanch the turnip tops (cime de rapa) leaves in boiling water for 40 seconds, then drain, brush with olive oil and season with salt. Reheat the blackcurrant sauce and add the fresh blackcurrants


Place a sarladaises potato to the right of each plate, then top with 3 braised shallots and cime de rapa leaves in between them. Carve each duck breast in half lengthways, then place on the left of each plate. Pour the sauce between the duck and the potato and serve

Tony Fleming built a reputation off sophisticated fish and seafood dishes at Angler, but now he's showing the full extent of his armoury at legendary restaurant Le Pont de La Tour, where he cooks classical, comforting food to the highest standards.

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