4 July 2010

Grilled Duck Breast

Yesterday our town held a food festival. They've had it for a couple of years now and it's growing bigger and bigger.


This year for the first time, I actually saw the posters and brochures a few weeks back. In previous years we'd just stumbled across the market. But not this time. We got up in time and walked down to the High Street at 10 am to watch the official opening.

There were loads of stalls, one was selling game, nicely vacuum packed ready to cook. Which gave Lundulph the idea that duck would be rather nice for a Sunday dinner. I wasn't too sure, it wasn't planned and I wasn't sure I'd be able to do anything decent. To play it safe, we bought two duck breasts.

In the evening I briefly searched for recipes and came across one for barbecued duck breasts. It seemed simple enough and I had all the ingredients for the marinade. I showed it to Lundulph and he seemed keen on firing up the barbecue, but I decided against it. Too much effort for just two duck breasts.

Thus this morning, I opened them up and removed the skin and very thick layer of fat.


On closer inspection, a lot of the "roots" of the feathers were still on the skin, so removing the whole lot made sense to me. Besides, I've only had pan fried duck breast once at a Chinese restaurant in Düsseldorf over a decade ago and I've no memory of what it tasted, just that it was about 50% fat.

Luckily the fat came off quite easily, I'd expected to have to carve it off.

For the marinade, I used the ingredients listed in the recipe I found, but at different proportions, so I'm listing them here.


2 duck breasts, skin and fat removed
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
0.5 tsp Tabasco sauce
2 cloves of garlic
coarsely ground black pepper

  1. Place the duck breasts in a glass bowl, then add the ingredients for the marinade, pressing the garlic. Turn the meat a few times to get it coated evenly, then put in the fridge for a few hours.

  2. Pre-heat the grill on medium along with the tray where the meat will be cooked. Place the duck breasts under the grill, then keep turning them every minute. This will get them cooked without burning the surface too much. About 6 minutes will be enough to still keep the middle of the meat rosy-pink.

As I mentioned the other day, I had 3 courgette patties left over, they worked quite nicely as greens with the duck breasts, even if they were re-heated in the microwave. For carbs, I steamed some lovely Jersey Royal potatoes. I had no sauce, but frankly that wasn't necessary. The meat was a bit gamey, but very light textured and the marinade was perfect for it. This is definitely one to be repeated.

To accompany this lovely meal, we bought an English white wine from the market.


Obviously the wine isn't 30 years old, but the vines that the grapes came from were planted 30 years ago.


The vineyard is located in Sussex and is called Sedlescombe Organic Vineyard. Very drinkable wine, I thought. Lundulph says it was a bit like lightly oaked Chardonnay.

We did actually get to taste it at the market, along with their rosé, which was also very nice.

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