My 100th post on The Pink Dumpling! Time has flown and I’m super stoked that I’ve kept this up. What better way to celebrate than with another duck recipe. Duck and butter… just a couple of my favourite things!
Marinate the duck breasts the night before for maximum flavour. Also bring them out of the fridge about an hour before to get them down to room temperature. This way you can sear and cook them to a nice medium rare (or rare if you prefer) and the meat wont be cold.
This is totally an indulgent dish – think juicy duck, buttery sauce and crispy sage leaves. The lovely bitterness of the witlof leaves balances it all out. As I said to Belinda last night “Once a month only!”
You will need:
- 2 duck breasts with skin on
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 star anise
- 1 tbs ground nutmeg + 1 tsp for the sauce
- 3 heads of witlof, halved lengthwise
- 2 tbs butter
- handful of sage leaves
- salt and pepper
Wash the duck breasts and pat dry with a paper towel. Season generously with salt and pepper and rub the tbs of ground nutmeg into the meat. Place in a bowl with the cinnamon stick and star anise, cover with cling film and keep in the fridge overnight. Don’t stress if you don’t have time to do this overnight, just leave out the cinnamon and star anise from the recipe and season the duck before searing.
Heat a non stick pan on high and when it’s hot place the duck breasts on, skin side down. Leave them there to sear for a few minutes until the skin is nice and crispy. Turn them over and keep them cooking for another 5 minutes. Remove them from the pan and wrap in foil, leave to rest while you cook the witlof.
Return the same pan to the heat (bring down to a med-high heat) and place the witlof in flat side down. The pan should still have the rendered fat from the duck which will flavour your witlof. Add the butter and sage leaves to the pan when the witlof has started to char. Sprinkle the extra ground nutmeg into the butter which should now be browning. Turn the witlof over so it cooks on the other sides.
When the sage has crisped up, remove from the heat. Plate up with the witlof first, then the duck breasts (sliced). Drizzle the butter sauce and sage leaves over the top.