Spiced Duck Breast with Potatoes, Watercress, Walnuts & Fig Leaf Vinegar
1 tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
¼ tsp ground black pepper
¼ ground cinnamon
¼ ground cumin
2 duck breasts, around 400g in total
salt and pepper
700g red skinned potatoes, red rooster or desiree are very good
125g skinned walnuts
1 ½ tbsp Fig Leaf Vinegar
- To make the duck seasoning, mix the first 6 ingredients in a small bowl or cup. Lightly score the skin of the duck with a criss-cross pattern then rub all over with the seasoning then keep uncovered in the fridge. Allow to penetrate for a minimum of 20-30 minutes or a maximum of 4 hours. After this rub off any excess with a paper towel.
- Slice the potatoes lengthways into 1-2cm ovals, place in a colander and toss with a little salt and leave for 20 minutes to draw out some moisture. Heat your oven to 190C fan/210C non-fan and place a sturdy, shallow baking tray in the oven to heat up.
- Rinse the potatoes with cold water and pat dry with a kitchen cloth. Toss in a bowl with 80ml of olive oil. Remove the hot baking tray from the oven and spread the potatoes all around, in a single layer, along with any oil in the bowl. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes, then turn the potatoes over and roast for another 10-15 minutes, or until soft and golden brown with a crispy skin.
- While the potatoes are roasting, spread the walnuts on a baking tray and toast in the oven for 5 minutes.
- To cook the duck, place a frying pan on a medium heat and allow to heat up. Dry the duck breast with a piece of kitchen paper. If you have a non-stick pan then you don’t need any oil for the pan, but if not drizzle a very small amount of oil on the base. Lay the duck breasts skin side down and cook for around 5 minutes, turning up the heat if they are not sizzling very much. The aim is to render much of the fat and to crisp up the skin, whilst keeping the meat very pink, like a rare steak. Turn the duck breast over and cook for 1-2 minutes, then sear each edge for about a minute. If the meat feels very soft and wobbly then cook for a little longer, but generally duck breasts don’t take very long to cook. Remove from the pan and allow to rest on a plate for at least 5 minutes. Pour any fat and juices into a small bowl or cup then add 20ml olive oil and the fig leaf vinegar to make the dressing.
- To plate up, place the warm potatoes on the bottom of a plate, scatter the watercress and walnuts over the top and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cut the duck into ½ cm slices and lay over the top, then dress everything with the fig leaf vinegar mixture.