Duck with cherries and chervil

Ingredients (serves 4)

Duck with cherries and chervilConfit duck legs

  • 4 duck legs
  • 2 tbsp coarse sea salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 3 heads of garlic
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Duck or goose fat

Roasted duck breast

  • 2 duck breasts
  • Sea salt
  • Olive oil

Cherry and chervil Yorkshire pudding

  • 200g fresh English cherries, de-stoned
  • 20g chervil, picked
  • 75g plain flour
  • 300ml milk
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 25g unsalted butter

Butternut squash puree

  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and diced
  • 1ltr vegetable stock
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • Freshly ground salt and pepper

Cherry jus

  • 500g fresh English cherries, de-stoned
  • Duck carcass/bones, excess skin removed
  • 1 carrot, peeled
  • 1 onion
  • 1 garlic bulb
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 50ml ruby port
  • 50ml red wine
  • 1ltr veal stock
  • 1 pinch five spice powder
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch black pepper and salt to taste

Wilted curly kale

  • 250g curly kale, stalk removed
  • 50g butter
  • Seasoning


Confit duck legs

  1. Place the duck legs on a tray and sprinkle with sea salt, chopped bay leaves and thyme leaves.
  2. Cut 2 garlic bulbs in half and arrange around the duck legs. Cover with cling film and leave to marinade for 24 hours in the fridge.
  3. Preheat the oven to 120°C. Wash off the herbs and pat dry. Lay the duck in a deep, heavy based tray and add the onion and carrot and top with the remaining halves of garlic.
  4. Melt the duck fat and pour over the legs. Cover with a lid and cook for 3 hours.
  5. Once cooked, remove the legs from the tray, place in a clean tray and leave to cool.
  6. When they have cooled, strain the fat through a fine sieve and pour over the duck legs. The fat will preserve the duck legs and they can be kept for up to a week.
  7. When you are ready to serve the duck legs, preheat the oven to 200°C. Heat a frying pan and fry the duck legs, skin side up, for two minutes before turning over. Transfer to a hot oven and cook for 10 minutes until hot all the way through and crisp.
  8. Drain the legs on absorbent paper before serving.

Roast duck breast

  1. Score the skin with a sharp knife and season well.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the breasts, skin side down, in a pan with a little olive oil over a moderate heat and sear until the skin is golden brown.
  3. Remove from the heat and place in a preheated oven for 7 minutes. Once cooked, leave to rest for two minutes before slicing and serving.

Yorkshire puddings

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Rinse and dry the cherries.
  2. Mix the flour, milk and egg yolks to make a smooth, runny batter. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff then fold into the batter along with the chervil.
  3. Set four small ovenproof dishes to warm in the oven. After 3–4 minutes, drop a little butter into each dish and roll it around to coat the bases and sides. Mix the residue into the batter.
  4. Fill the dishes two thirds full with the batter and place even amounts of cherries into the mixture until the batter nearly reaches the top.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes or until puffed and lightly set. Serve straight from the oven for maximum effect and garnish with the remaining chervil.

Butternut squash purée

  1. Place the squash and vegetable stock in a medium sized pan and boil for 10-20 minutes until tender. The squash should be tender when pierced with a knife but not breaking up.
  2. Strain the squash and reserve the stock. Place the squash into a blender and add 50g butter and a little of the reserved stock to make a smooth purée. Season and keep warm.

Cherry jus

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the duck carcass, carrot, onion, garlic, celery and thyme on a tray and cook for 20 minutes or until the bones are well browned.
  2. Place a large pan over a high heat and place the browned duck bones and vegetables into the pan followed by the alcohol. Reduce the alcohol by half, then add the veal stock, spices and half of the cherries and further reduce by two thirds.
  3. Strain the jus through a fine sieve and add the remaining cherries just before serving. If necessary, season to taste.

Method for wilted curly kale

  1. Bring a pan of water to the boil and blanch the curly kale for one minute. Transfer the curly kale to cold water to retain its colour.
  2. When ready to serve, place a large pan over a high heat and add the blanched curly kale to the pan followed by the butter. Toss the curly kale until heated through, season and serve.