Roast Wild Duck Breast with Smoky Aubergine, Red Peppers, Yoghurt and Caramelised Butter

11:30 am on 15 April 2013

It’s almost game bird season, and wild duck breasts are real seasonal delicacy. They’re stronger in flavour, darker in colour and much leaner than domestic ducks. This is our take on a Moorish dish, using red peppers, pine nuts and silky, rich butter.

As an entrée we’d serve this dish with the Gonzales Byass Olorosso Seco Sherry. It is slightly dry with toasty, nutty aromas and enough acidity and sweetness to balance the fuller flavours of this dish, and cut through the richness of the butter. Last but not least… sherry is our favourite way to start a meal!

(Serves 4)



  • 2 duck breasts, skin on is best
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • a handful of thyme sprigs
  • a knob (tablespoon) of butter
  • (for skinless breasts add a splash of oil)
  • a squeeze of lemon juice
  • a handful of toasted pine nuts
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 50 g unsweetened Greek yoghurt
  • ¼ tea spoon of smoked paprika

Aubergines & peppers

  • 2 aubergines
  • 2 red peppers
  • a handful of fresh coriander leaves
  • a handful of fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • juice of half a lemon



Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

Score the skin with the tip of a knife.

Place the meat skin side down in a cold, dry pan with an oven safe handle (no oil) and set the heat to high.

For skinless breasts use a hot pan with a small amount of duck fat or oil.

When the meat turns a golden colour add garlic, thyme and a knob of butter.

Turn and cook the other side for 20 seconds, spooning the butter over the meat.

Place the pan in the oven for about 2-3 minutes.

The breasts should feel like a medium rare beef-steak. Cover the meat with tin foil and rest in a warm area, with the skin side up.

Aubergines & Peppers

Char the aubergine and red peppers on a flame or hot grill until blackened (about thirty minutes).

Peel and discard the skins.

Chop the aubergine flesh with parsley, lemon juice and olive oil.

Slice the red peppers into strips and mix with fresh coriander and salt.

To Serve

Heat the butter in a saucepan until it turns a golden brown. Put a dollop of aubergine and red pepper on the plate, slice the duck breast and arrange next to the vegetables. Spoon some yogurt on the side, pour over the melted butter and finish with toasted pine nuts, coriander leaves and sprinkling of smoked paprika.

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What's in Season - July




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