Breast of Barbary duck with red wine salt

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 large Barbary duck breast or 2 smaller ones
  • tsp of wine-infused salt crystals, ground in a mortar until fine
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • A few small new potatoes, scrubbed – no need to peel them

Method

Duck Fillets

Put a non-stick pan on a medium heat and let it warm up. Don't let it get too hot or smoky. Pat the duck breast(s) dry with kitchen paper and, with a sharp knife, score the skin in a diamond pattern, taking care not to cut all the way through the layer of snowy fat underneath. Rub the skin with the wine salt and pepper, massaging the seasoning into the slits.

Gently lower the duck into the pan, skin side down. Leave it to sizzle gently undisturbed for about 15 minutes. As the fat renders, spoon it into a ramekin and reserve it. Bring a pan of water to the boil and drop in the potatoes. Boil them for about 8 minutes, until just tender. Drain and halve.

Gently turn the duck over. The skin should be golden and crisp. Give it 5 minutes for pink flesh. If you like it well done, transfer it to a hot oven for 5-10 minutes to avoid burning the flesh. Rest on a warmed plate for at least 10 minutes.

Return the rendered fat to the frying pan and heat it until it sizzles. Season the potatoes well, using a little more of the wine salt if you like, and fry them until they, too, are crisp and brown.

Carve the duck breast(s) thickly on the diagonal and serve with the potatoes alongside. A salad of interesting leaves with some chopped walnuts, diced celery and a mustardy nut-oil dressing is a nice garnish.

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