Friday, 1 April 2011

Easy Welcome Home Dinner - One Pot Pan Fried Duck

10 months after we were married, my husband moved to the big smoke for work, coming home on Friday nights and leaving again on Monday mornings (at 5am!!). Tonight, he moved back home for good. I'm a happy girl, and to welcome him home, I decided to cook his favourite - duck.

Duck is very often overlooked in the butchers, but I urge you to think again. Duck has to be free range; it isnt suited to intensive battery farming, but this makes it more expensive than, say chicken, but is comparable in price to free range chicken (especially the legs). It's also amazingly high in all of the B-Vitamins so surprisingly good for you, especially if you remove the skin and stir fry the breast.

But we wont be doing that here; we will be pan frying those lovely duck breasts and then making the side dishes in the same pan, in all those lovely juices; the ultimate one-pot dinner party meal and perfect for tonight - who wants to do lots of washing up after a house move!?

One Pot Pan Fried Duck

(Sorry for the not-great picture; it was taken on a phone as my camera battery went - I couldn't let the duck go cold whilst I waited for it to charge).


  • New Potatoes - 500 - 600g
  • Two Duck Breasts
  • 1 fat garlic clove
  • Handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 6 rashers smoked, streaky bacon
  • Savoy cabbage washed and shredded
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1. Cook the potatoes, drain and slice thickly. Warm the over to 100 - 120 degrees.

2. Score the skin of the duck breasts and season.. Place a heavy bottom,. none stick frying pan over a low heat, and, when hot, place the duck in the pan, skin side down and leave for 15 minutes, then turn, meat side down and leave for 5 minutes. Cover with foil and keep warm.  When you come to serve the duck it will be perfectly cooked - a little pink in the middle.

3. Turn the heat to high and, in the same pan, add the sliced, cooked potatoes and cook in the duck fat until hot and browned.  Keep warm in the oven.

4. Add the bacon to the pan and cook until crispy. Add the cabbage and put a lid on the pan for a couple of minutes. Add a spash of water, cover again until cooked through - just a couple more minutes.

5. Meanwhile, slice the duck breasts and place on a plate. Mix the juices from the rested duck with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

6. Place the potatoes in a pile next to the duck and serve the cabbage, again in a neat pile.

7. Dress with the duck juice mixture and serve.

This will serve the duck warm. You have a couple of options.

  • To keep the skin crispy, cover with baking paper whilst resting, but expect meat to be cooler.
  • Cook the bacon and cabbage at the same time as the potatoes, in a different pan. You will use more than one pot but you will be finished quicker, resulting in warmer meat.
The recipe I've written is what I prefer to do, but let me know what you prefer.

Looking forward to the feedback!


Tonight we had a Spanish Rioja with our duck, from Naked Wines Burgo Viejo Rioja Tinto 2006. It went perfectly with the duck, complimenting the rich flavours with a blackberry undertone (and we all know how well fruit goes with duck!) It's light but oak-ey characteristics were complex enough to compliment the duck but didn't over power it. Delicious and the perfect companion to the meal.  And my husband thought so too!


  1. I've always wanted to try duck, but I rarely see it in the grocery stores. When I do see it, it is the whole duck, and I get a little intimidated.

    Your recipe looks good!

  2. Hi Mark, Thanks for your comment. Don't be intimidated! I'll post a recipe for a whole duck very soon (I have one in the freezer), but follow a few golden rules and you'll be fine. Always, always roast the duck over a rack in a roasting try (and use the lovely fat for roast potatoes). Either cook is low and slow (120 for 3 hrs for 1.5kg bird, followed by 20 mins at 180 to crisp the skin) or high and fast (220 for 20 mins, down to 180 for 45 mins, again for 1.5kg). A 1.5kg duck will serve 4 at most, and will be
    65 (pink) - 82 (well done) degrees in the middle. Recipe to follow but I hope this helps (follow me or subscribe not to miss it!) If not, buy the duck, cut off the breasts for this recipe and confit the legs! Delicious.

  3. Meant to add - this recipe is adapted from BBC Good Food