The festive season is all about poultry – turkey mainly, but also duck (if you want an bird that fits more easily in the oven). When we tasted the Cake Boy Hazelnut Ale during our mince pie making masterclass last year, it reminded us of beer braised duck. This time, we wanted to modify the beer and duck combination to make it more of a Christmas recipe, and at the same time, we wanted to make sure that it’s going to be easy to make.
This is more or less a one pot recipe, although you will need to transfer the pot on the hob into the oven. The key flavours are honey and hazelnut, and as we like rosemary a lot, we’ve added quite a lot to this recipe. You can choose to use less.
We’re using the Cake Boy Hazelnut Ale in this recipe, as it’s the best one to enhance the hazelnut flavours we’re creating here. The recipe serves 2, and takes roughly 15 mins prep/hob time and 30 minutes in the oven.
2 duck breasts
3-4 medium sized potatoes
1 low salt chicken stock cube
2 tsps of salt
1 tbsp of muscovado sugar
50g of chopped hazelnuts + a handful for garnish
3 tbsps of honey
1 tbsp of corn flour
150ml dark ale
3 sprigs of rosemary
You’ll also need additional salt to rub the duck and to taste.
Step 1: preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Score the skin of the duck and rub with a little salt. Set aside to rest for 10 minutes.
Step 2: slice the potatoes so that they are roughly 1/2 inch thick and soak in water with a tiny sprinkle of salt for 10 minutes to remove any excess starch.
Step 3: add 1/2 cup of water to a small saucepan and dissolve the stock cube, salt, sugar in this as it comes to a boil. Once it starts to boil, drain the potatoes and add these to the saucepan. Simmer on low heat for 5 minutes.
Step 4: add the hazelnut and honey and simmer for a further minute, then pour in the beer carefully down the side of the saucepan in order to avoid bubbles. Add more salt to taste if necessary.
Step 5: mix the cornflour with a few teaspoons of boiled water to form a paste, then add this to the saucepan to slightly thicken the sauce. Simmer for an additional minute and remove from the hob.
Step 6: pour the contents of the pan into an ovenproof dish and arrange the potato pieces so that they lie flat enough to be covered by the fluids.
Step 7: keep a little rosemary for garnish, but lay the rest across the top of the potatoes.
Step 8: smear 1 tbsp of honey on the skin of each duck breast, then lay the duck over the rosemary sprigs and potatoes. Arrange so that the bottom of the duck sits slightly in the juice but the skin stays above it.
Step 9: sprinkle the duck with a little rosemary and chopped hazelnut and pop into the oven at 200 degrees for 30 minutes.
Step 10: remove, garnish with the leftover rosemary and it’s ready to serve!
The potatoes will be nice and soft and soaked with juices, and the duck will be tender. The hazelnut makes this dish extra festive, don’t you think?Follow @blenderbasil