Ingredients (serves 10)
10 duck breasts, boned
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the sauce:
3/4 pint/400mls stock (made from carcase, chicken stock cube or consommé)
3/4 pint/400mls red wine
2 tablespoons redcurrant jelly
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses (from Sainsbury’s)
10 kumquats, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon cornflour, mixed with a little water
Method: Trim the duck breasts of any membranes or sinew. Season well with salt and pepper. For the sauce: place the stock and red wine into a saucepan and simmer for 30 minutes until slightly reduced. Add the redcurrant jelly and leave to melt for five minutes. Add the molasses and sliced kumquats and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Heat a heavy-based frying pan over a high heat and place the duck breasts in it, skin side down. Fry over a high heat for at least five minutes, possibly longer, depending on the size and the amount of fat, until the skin is well browned. Remove any fat during frying to help brown the skin. Turn the breasts over on to the flesh side, and fry for a further five minutes. Now transfer the breasts to a warmed dish and keep warm while finishing the sauce.
To finish the sauce, add the cornflour mixed with a little water to the saucepan and simmer for a further five minutes to thicken, stirring gently. Slice the duck breasts thinly and add any juices given off to the sauce. Arrange on serving plates and spoon the sauce over, allowing some slices of kumquat with each serving. Serve with seasonal vegetables, such as mashed potato with celeriac, finely sliced cabbage, buttered and peppered, and chantenay carrots.
Note: This recipe can easily be adapted for other gamebird breasts, increasing the quantity of meat per person if very small, and lessening the cooking time to allow for the amount of fat on the meat in question. Fruit added to the sauce can be blackberries, prunes and cranberries, which all work well with game, and a slug of brandy, port, Madeira or sloe gin also works wonders.