Raymond Blanc's duck breast with sweet potatoes and cherry jus

Raymond Blanc

Raymond Blanc shared some of his favourite recipes, learnt at his mother’s knee, including this classic recipe for duck breast with sweet potatoes and a cherry jus.

Serves

4



Ingredients

For the cherry sauce

  • 300g/10 oz fresh cherries, stones removed (20 cherries reserved whole for the sauce)
  • 50ml/2fl oz ruby port
  • 50ml/2fl oz red wine
  • 1 pinch five spice powder
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch black pepper and salt to taste

For the duck

  • 4 duck breasts (220g/8oz each) off the bone, skin scored
  • 1 large pinch of salt and black pepper to taste

For the sweet potato

  • 1 (475g/16 oz) sweet potato peeled and cut lengthways into 7mm/¼in slices
  • 10g/½ oz groundnut (or similar unscented) oil
  • 10g/½ oz unsalted butter
  • 1 large pinch of salt and black pepper to taste

Method

A classic combination of fruit and meat, sweet and savoury and so easy to make at home.

To make the cherry sauce

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Pour the wine and port into a medium-sized saucepan and bring to the boil on a high heat and reduce its volume by half. Add the cherries, five spice, cinnamon, pepper and salt and return to the boil. Simmer for 2-3 minutes and remove 20 cherries for the garnish.

Pour the pan contents into a blender and blend for 2 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve into a small saucepan and add the reserved cherries. Taste and adjust seasoning if required.

For the duck

Season the duck breasts with salt and pepper and render the fat. Place the duck breasts skin-side down in a large frying pan set at a medium heat. Colour the skin, for 10 minutes, pouring off the excess fat every 2 minutes until the skin is a crispy golden brown. Turn the duck on to its flesh side and sear for 1 minute to lock in juices. Return the breasts to their skin sides and put in a dish in the hot oven for 4 minutes. Remove and allow to rest for 4 minutes.

Cooking the sweet potato

While the duck skin is rendering, roast the sweet potato slices in the groundnut oil and butter in a large frying pan on a medium heat. Colour them for 5-6 minutes each side, seasoning each slice with salt and pepper, then transfer to the oven to finish the cooking for 4 minutes. Serve the duck on a slice of sweet potato with the hot cherries and cherry sauce.

This recipe was provided by chef Raymond Blanc to celebrate the joint 25th anniversaries of Saga Magazine and Michelin-starred restaurant Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons in 2009. For more recipes from Raymond Blanc, buy his book My Kitchen Table: 100 Recipes for Entertaining.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.