Roasted breast of mallard with crispy leg, pumpkin soup and roasted chestnuts

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This roasted mallard recipe from Robert Thompson comprises deep, rootsy flavours of the chestnut and pumpkin with rich duck and crunchy Panko breadcrumbs.

First published in 2015






Chestnut purée

To plate

  • 10g of baking powder
  • 150g of plain flour
  • 2 tbsp of sage leaves
  • 2 tbsp of pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • ice cold water
  • 100g of cornflour
  • vegetable oil


  • Fine sieve
  • Deep fat fryer
  • Blender


Remove the legs from the mallard by cutting through the joint. Put in a dish, sprinkle with salt, cover and chill for 12 hours. Clean the rest of the bird and carefully remove the wishbone
Rinse and dry the legs and put in an oven dish into which they fit snugly
Heat the oven to 140°C/Gas mark 1. Melt the goose fat in a pan and then pour it over the legs
Cook in a covered pan for 2 ½ hours or until the meat is falling off the bone. Discard the skin and remove all the meat from the confit legs
Shred the meat and season lightly. Layer the meat into a small tray to about 1cm thick, then chill until firm
For the soup, heat the oven to 190°C/Gas mark 5
Put the chopped pumpkin, thyme and butter in a foil parcel. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft
Sweat the onion in a little oil until soft, then add the roasted pumpkin flesh and stock. Bring to the boil then blend until completely smooth. Pass through a fine sieve and adjust the seasoning
For the chestnut purée, caramelise the orange segments with the butter and sugar in a pan, being careful not to burn the sugar, then add the orange juice, peeled chestnuts and stock
Bring to the boil and then blend until smooth. Slowly add the cream. Pass through a fine sieve and adjust the seasoning
For the mallard, heat the oven to 200°C/Gas mark 6
Season the mallard crown and then seal in a hot pan in 1 tablespoon of oil. Roast for 10-15 minutes depending on the size of the bird and how well you like it cooked. Allow to rest
  • 20ml of olive oil
Cut the confit meat into 1cm cubes and then dust with the flour, dip in the egg and coat with the breadcrumbs
  • 100g of plain flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 handful of Panko breadcrumbs (1)
Carve off the mallard breasts once roasted, slicing each breast evenly. Shallow-fry the leg meat cubes until golden all over
  • 80ml of olive oil
Mix the corn flour, plain flour and baking powder together in a bowl. Gently add the ice cold water, stirring gently until it forms a tempura batter
  • 100g of cornflour
  • 150g of plain flour
  • 10g of baking powder
  • ice cold water
Heat the oil in a deep fat fryer. Dip the sage leaves in the tempura batter and fry until the batter sets on the leaves. Drain on kitchen paper
Spoon a little chestnut purée onto each plate, add some mallard cubes and the mallard breast, top with some pumpkin seeds and deep-fried sage leaves
Pour the pumpkin soup around the meat to serve
First published in 2015

Robert Thompson's cooking is full of character and classical skill.

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