Honey duck breasts with redcurrant sauce, balsamic peppers and dauphinoise potatoes

Serve this dish of duck breasts with a honey glaze and simple red wine sauce for a satisfying supper for four.


For the potatoes
For the peppers
For the mangetout
For the sauce
For the duck

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas 6.

  2. For the potatoes, rub the garlic around the inside of a gratin dish then grease with the butter. Layer the potatoes into the dish, seasoning each layer with salt and freshly ground black pepper and a sprinkling with a handful of grated cheese. Repeat until all of the potatoes and three-quarters of the cheese have been used up.

  3. Pour in the double cream, season again with salt and freshly ground black pepper and top with the remaining grated cheese. Transfer to the oven and cook for 45-50 minutes, or until golden and bubbling and the potatoes are cooked through (alternatively cook in the microwave on high for 10-15 minutes then sprinkle over more cheese and finish in the oven to brown for five minutes).

  4. Meanwhile, for the peppers, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and fry the onion and peppers gently, without letting them brown, for 2-3 minutes. Add a pinch of salt and two or three tablespoons of water, cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until tender.

  5. Stir in the half the balsamic vinegar and half the brown sugar and simmer for a minute or two. Taste and add more balsamic vinegar, sugar, salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Keep warm.

  6. For the mangetout, boil the mangetout in a pan of boiling salted water for two minutes until just tender but still crisp. Drain and toss with the butter and freshly ground black pepper and keep warm.

  7. For the sauce, put the onion, carrot, celery, bay leaves, peppercorns and red wine into a saucepan over a high heat. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes.

  8. For the duck, season the duck breasts generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper on both sides. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the duck, skin-side-down, and fry for about 5-6 minutes or until golden and most or the fat has rendered out into the pan.

  9. Turn the duck over and cook for a further 2-3 minutes then transfer to a small baking dish, drizzle with the honey and cook in the oven for 7-8 minutes or until cooked but still pink in the middle. Remove from the oven and leave to rest in a warm place for a few minutes.

  10. To finish the sauce, strain the contents of the pan through a sieve into a clean pan and return to the heat. Add the port and redcurrant jelly and any juices from the duck. Bring to a boil and boil for 3-4 minutes, or until reduced to a coating consistency. Whisk the cold butter into the sauce, a piece at a time, until the sauce is glossy then season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  11. To serve, spoon a portion of the peppers and onions onto the centre of warm serving plates. Carve the duck into thick, angled slices and place on top. Spoon a little sauce over the duck and pour a generous amount around the edge of the plate. Arrange the mangetout on the side. serve the potatoes alongside and any remaining sauce in a jug.

Less than 30 mins preparation time

30 mins to 1 hour cooking time

Serves 4

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