Festive duck breast

John Barton

John Barton

20th January 2012

Festive duck breast

Duck is very versatile and is enjoyed for its rich, tender meat which is usually roasted or part roasted in the oven to help crisp up the skin. Why not give the following festive duck breast recipe a try? This is the dish i cooked for coling young on bbc radio shropshire during his festive dream team series


  • Ingredients
  • Duck breast
  • Sauce
  • 4 star anise
  • 5 or 5 cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
  • ½ orange, zest and ½ juiced
  • 150ml port
  • 250ml chicken stock
  • Sprouts
  • Smoked bacon pieces
  • Honey
  • Salt and pepper
  • Parsnips
  • Butter
  • Cream


For the duck, score the duck skin then season both sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Heat a frying pan until hot and add the duck breasts, skin-side down.

Turn the heat down to low and cook for 5 minutes on each side.

Remove the duck from the pan and rest on a warm plate.

Pour off most of the excess duck fat from the pan and turn up the heat

Add the star anise, cinnamon, cloves and orange zest to the pan and fry for one minute.

Add the port and bring to a simmer, stirring to remove any residual duck juices from the pan. Add the chicken stock and orange juice and boil for three minutes over a high heat, until the sauce has reduced and thickened.

Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the sprouts, heat a frying pan until hot, add the bacon and cook for two minutes until golden-brown.

Add the honey and stir to coat the bacon. Add the sprouts and stir again. Cook for 2-3 minutes

Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the mash, place the parsnips into a saucepan and cover with water, then add a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes, until tender, before mashing with butter and cream, season to taste.