Fried, shredded, braised, roasted. Duck is sophisticated, versatile and, most importantly, delicious. Traditionally used heavily in Asian cuisine, duck is now enjoyed across the world and can be cooked to suit any preference. Whether it’s a rich alternative for a Sunday roast, the unsung hero of a curry or entwined as part of a pasta dish – it pairs perfectly with a surprising amount of foodie staples.
We’ve gathered together three recipes which provide simple steps for delicious meals, giving this tender and fragrant meat the spotlight it deserves!
Olive & Duck Lasagne
Lasagne is a delicious crowd-pleaser at any dinner party. Bringing a decadent twist to the classic dish, this aromatic recipe layers tender duck and olive ragù between fresh lasagne sheets and a creamy bechamel sauce, topped with a hearty sprinkling of parmesan.
A subtle and delicate way to enjoy duck, this dish can be truly elevated with the right choice of red wine. For instance, Barbaresco has robust red fruit flavours, such as cherry and raspberry, which complement the flavours of the dish perfectly.
- 400g chopped tomato
- 4 duck legs – skin on
- 1 onion – finely chopped
- 1 carrot – finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic – minced
- 50g olives – pitted and sliced
- 175ml white wine
- 200ml chicken stock
- 2tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ tsp sugar
- Salt and black pepper
- 400g fresh lasagne sheets
- 75g Parmigiano Reggiano to sprinkle over each layer (don’t forget the top!)
- 600 ml of milk
- 60g plain flour
- 60g butter
- Grating of nutmeg
- Salt and black pepper
This recipe has three components – the ragù sauce, Bèchamel sauce and the lasagne itself.
For the duck and olive ragù:
- In a large pot, heat olive oil and add the duck legs. Once crisp and golden, remove and set aside.
- If needed, add a small amount of olive oil before adding the onion and carrot to the same pot. Sauté over a medium heat until softened and add garlic. Fry until the mixture is fragrant.
- Deglaze the pot with white wine. Keep the browning for a richer sauce. Cook the alcohol off before adding tomatoes, olives, chicken stock, rosemary, bay leaves and sugar. Stir the mixture and add the duck legs, submerging them fully in the liquid.
- Reduce the heat, place the lid on the pan and simmer for 90 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- After 90 mins, remove duck legs from the mixture – keep the meat on the bone when lifting.
- Remove the skin and pull the meat from the bone. Once shredded, add the meat back to the sauce and stir on a low heat until combined.
- Remove the bay leaves and rosemary, and season with salt and pepper.
For the béchamel:
- Melt 60g of butter and add an equal amount of flour.
- Whisk until combined, then cook on a low heat for 1-2 minutes until a roux is formed.
- Remove mixture from the heat and add milk, stirring continuously until thick. Add a splash at a time to avoid lumps forming.
- Season with nutmeg, salt and black pepper.
- Using a baking dish, spread the ragù sauce then add a lasagne sheet. Repeat with a layer of ragù, followed by a layer of béchamel, then sprinkle grated Parmigiano Reggiano on top.
- Repeat this process to layer the lasagne until you use up both sauces and the pasta sheets. Aim for five layers.
- Cook for 40 minutes. Once cooked, leave to stand for five minutes.
- Slice into equal-sized portions and finish with freshly shaved Parmigiano Reggiano. Buon appetito!
Duck Panang Curry
Whether the level of ‘spiciness’ becomes a friendly topic of debate at a dinner party or you take the leftovers for your co-workers for lunch, a curry is a homely dish everyone can enjoy together.
Originating from Asia, the Penang (also Panang, Paneang) curry is a red, thick and zesty dish, traditionally entwined with peanuts and served with rice. Serving six, this simple recipe packs a punch and, by using duck instead of more traditional meats, adds a rich and fragrant element to an already outstanding dish.
- 4 duck breasts – fat scored
- 160ml coconut cream
- 400ml coconut milk
- 2 sliced red peppers
- Cinnamon stick
- 1 star anise
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp palm sugar or soft brown sugar
- ½ lime (juiced) & wedges to serve
- Thai basil – torn
- Jasmine rice – to be served with curry
- 2 shallots – roughly chopped
- 2 thumb-sized pieces of ginger
- 6 cloves garlic – roughly chopped
- 2 stalks of lemongrass – woody layer removed and finely chopped
- 1 tbsp dried chilli flakes
- 1 chilli – roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp shrimp paste
- 4 lime leaves – shredded
- 2 tbsp roasted peanuts – finely chopped
- ½ tsp sea salt
- Heat oven to 200C. Blend curry paste ingredients in a food processor with 1-2 tbsp of water until smooth.
- Season the duck and place skin-side down in a frying pan. Cook for 10 minutes (save rendered fat for roasting potatoes). When the duck is golden and crisp, transfer to oven for 15 minutes. Remove and rest for 10 minutes. Slice thinly.
- Heat coconut cream and curry paste in a wok, cooking for 4-5 minutes. Pour coconut milk in with 200ml water. Add red peppers, cinnamon and star anise. Simmer gently for 15 minutes. Season with fish sauce, palm sugar and lime juice, then stir in the sliced duck breast.
- Serve with fresh Thai basil, lime wedges and jasmine rice.
Roast Duck with Plum Sauce
A Sunday roast is often boasted as a proud part of British identity. It’s not just the meal itself – it’s the gathering around the table for a meal that has taken the best part of the day to prepare and is always cooked with love. It’s everyone having an opinion on how crispy the potatoes should be, and it’s that one person who always goes back for more.
This slow-cooked recipe brings a Pan-Asian twist to British tradition, with melt-in-the-mouth duck and tangy plum sauce. Best served with all the trimmings!
- 1 whole duck – roughly 1.75kg
- Sea salt
- 8 ripe plums – halved
- 1 red onion – cut into slim wedges
- A glass of red wine
- 200ml chicken stock
- 2 star anise
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- Heat the oven to 160c. Pull fat from the duck and trim excess. Sit the duck on a rack over a roasting tin. Sprinkle salt all over the skin and roast for 90 minutes.
- Remove rack and pour away fat, saving some for roasting potatoes.
- Put plums, red onion, red wine, chicken stock, star anise and cinnamon in a roasting tin and re-add the duck.
- Cook for 75 mins and rest for 20 minutes. Carve and serve with trimmings, plums and pan sauces.