The addition of orange and vanilla to carrots may seem a little strange, but the sweetness cuts through the rich duck.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
For the potatoes, place the duck fat into a pan with the thyme, garlic, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Gently heat until the fat has melted.
Meanwhile, use a round pastry cutter to cut two cylindrical rounds out from each of the potatoes, then slice each end so each potato piece sits flat. Place the potatoes into the duck fat and gently cook over a low heat for 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and golden-brown. Remove the potatoes and drain on kitchen paper. Just before serving, place into the oven to crisp up for 4-5 minutes.
For the duck, season the duck breasts with salt and freshly ground black pepper and place skin-side down into a cold pan set over a low heat. Cook slowly until the fat has rendered out and the skin is golden-brown and crisp (about 10-15 minutes). Turn the breasts over and fry for 2-3 minutes, or until browned, then place into the oven for five minutes (for medium rare), or until the duck is cooked to your liking. Remove from the oven and set aside to rest on a warm plate.
For the sauce, melt the butter in a pan until foaming, then add the shallots and garlic and fry for 2-3 minutes, or until softened but not coloured. Add the port and Madeira to the pan to deglaze, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Simmer until the alcohol has reduced to a syrupy consistency.
Add the stock to the pan and simmer until the liquid has reduced to a sauce consistency. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve into a clean pan and heat through just before serving.
For the carrots, place the large carrots, butter, vanilla pod and seeds into a pan and cover with the orange juice. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for ten minutes, or until the carrots are soft. Discard the vanilla pod, then transfer the carrot mixture to a food processor and blend until smooth. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve and return to a clean pan to heat through before serving.
For the baby carrots, place the baby carrots in a pan with the butter and cover with the stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 6-8 minutes, or until the carrots are tender. Drain the carrots and set aside. Just before serving, melt another knob of butter in a pan and add the carrots, tossing in the butter to glaze.
For the braised chicory, melt the butter in a pan until foaming, then add the thyme and chicory leaves. Fry for 2-3 minutes, then add the orange juice and chicken stock to deglaze, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Cook for a further 2-3 minutes, or until the chicory is tender.
For the duck liver, melt the butter in a pan until foaming and add the thyme and duck livers. Fry for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until cooked but still slightly pink in the middle. Remove the duck livers from the pan and set aside to rest for a few minutes.
To serve, slice the duck breast and duck livers. Swipe some of the carrot purée down one side of the plate and place the potato on one end. Arrange the slices of duck breast and liver down the middle of the plate, then spoon the braised chicory and baby carrots to the side. Drizzle the sauce around the plate.
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