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Pan-fried duck breast with mulled wine duck pithivier, dauphinoise potato, braised cabbage, madeira and pickled cherry jus. As part of the Westminster Kingsway College duck cookery competition. Recipe courtesy of Emma Bigmore.


  • 2 portions
  • Half a duck (1 breast, 1 leg, half carcass)
  • 300g puff pastry
  • Dauphinoise potato:
  • 200g maris piper potato
  • 100g milk
  • 100g cream
  • 1 garlic clove, pasted
  • 2tsp thyme, chopped
  • 10g parmesan
  • Stock:
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 onion
  • 1 celery
  • Madeira jus:
  • ½ shallot
  • 200ml madeira
  • Mulled wine filling:
  • 150ml red wine
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • 3 orange peels
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • 250ml beef stock
  • ¼ savoy cabbage
  • butter
  • Pickled cherries:
  • 100g cherries
  • 100g red wine vinegar
  • 20g dark brown sugar
  • 1tbsp flour
  • salt
  • pepper


  1. Remove the leg and breast from the carcass. Break down the carcass into smaller pieces (4 to 5 pieces)
  2. Roast the carcass in the oven at 200c until nicely browned, check after 20mins
  3. Mix the cream and milk, thyme and garlic with a pinch of salt and pepper
  4. Peel the potatoes and thinly slice through a mandolin
  5. In a disposable tin tray arrange the potato and then pour over the cream mix
  6. Grate the parmesan over the top
  7. Cover with tin foil and cook in the oven at 200c for 30mins, then uncover and cook for a further 15mins until the potato is tender. Once cooked and cooled portion into two strips
  8. In a saucepan add the red wine vinegar and dark brown sugar, bring to the boil to dissolve the sugar, once dissolved bring to a low simmer
  9. De-stalk the cherries and add to the vinegar
  10. Leave to steep for 5 to 10mins – make sure the cherry skins don’t burst
  11. Transfer to a vacuum bag and vacuum pack
  12. To make the stock, roughly dice the carrot, celery, and onion
  13. In a medium saucepan add a small amount of oil and brown the chopped vegetables
  14. Add the roasted carcass and add enough water to cover
  15. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 30mins, skimming every now and then
  16. For the pithivier, in a saucepan, reduce the red wine by half, along with the mulled wine spices
  17. De-bone and remove skin from the duck leg. Dice the meat into cubes.
  18. Slice the onion
  19. In a sauté pan heat a small amount of oil to hot. Add in the duck leg, season and brown off.
  20. Once brown remove from the pan. Lower the heat, add a little more oil and the sliced onion, season, and sauté until softened.
  21. Pass the reduced mulled wine into the pan along with the beef stock and rapidly reduce to a syrup consistency
  22. Coat the brown duck in flour and add to the pan
  23. Remove from the heat and allow to cool
  24. Roll out the puff pastry to about 4-5mm. Cut out two 68mm and two 88mm circles
  25. Place a spoonful of the duck into the centre of each 68mm, brush beaten egg around the edges and drape the larger disc over the top. Seal the edges and cut to 68mm using the cutter.
  26. Brush with beaten egg. Using a fork crimp the edges to properly seal and score the top with the blunt side of a paring knife.
  27. Cook at 200c for 20-30mins, until the golden brown.
  28. Chop the cabbage into strips and blanch
  29. To make the jus, finely dice the shallot and sauté in a saucepan, season
  30. Add the madeira and 50mls cherry pickling liqueur and reduce by half
  31. Add 250ml duck stock and reduce until thickened
  32. Remove from the heat, cover and set aside
  33. Heat a non-stick frying pan until very hot, season both sides of the duck breast. Place into the pan, skin side down. Fry until skin is golden and crispy, then turn over and sear the other side
  34. Turn back over, add a knob of butter and place in the oven at 200c and cook for 5mins – until the centre reaches above 75c
  35. While the duck is cooking refresh the pithivier and dauphinoise in the oven until hot
  36. In a sauté pan melt some butter and add the blanched cabbage, season with salt and pepper
  37. Put the madeira jus on the heat and add a small amount of butter, cut some of the pickled cherries in half, de-stone and add to the jus
  38. Once the duck is cooked allow to rest on a wire rack, once rested trim the sides and then cut in half.
  39. Remove the other components from the oven
  40. On 2 warm plates place a spoonful of cabbage in the centre, spreading it outwards into a sort of crescent shape on the plate. Place a strip of dauphinoise on each plate, slightly off centre, with the cut facing up, the half duck breast so a small part is balancing on the potato. Balance the pithivier on the other end of the potato, place the cherries around and pour the jus into the centre.