Breast of Gressingham Duck, Potato Pancake, Cider and Apple Sauce
Rare Recipe from Bryan Webb, Tyddyn Llan
Prior to moving to Wales, Bryan ran Hilaire in London, a restaurant highly acclaimed by the food guides. Bryan has continued to gather awards and accolades at Tyddyn Llan. His cooking is all about subtle flavours and an uncompromising attitude to sourcing the finest, freshest ingredients.
Roast duck and apple sauce has been a favourite of mine for many years. I still remember duck at the Drangway days when we would roast whole ducks until they were well done and the skin a golden crisp, to be carved at the table by the head waiter Paco. It was always a popular dish.
Now being back in Wales we are often asked for well done breast of duck which of course does not work. To achieve a crisp well done duck you have to roast the whole bird - we only have to look at the Chinese who mastered the art centuries ago.
Buy whole ducks for this dish as the carcass is used for the sauce and the legs and fat to make confit, which if you like well done crisp duck is ideal.
- 4 large Gressingham ducks
- 2 Granny Smith apples
- 25g butter
- 4 large peeled and sliced shallots
- 6 sticks of celery chopped
- 1 large carrot chopped
- 1 litre bottle of dry cider
- 500ml apple juice
- Sprig of thyme
- 4 bay leaves
- 500ml chicken stock
- 500ml veal stock
- 25ml calvados
- Potato pancake mix
- Bone out the ducks and trim the breasts, reserve the fat and legs.
- Chop the bones and roast in a hot oven until golden brown.
- Peel the apples, cut the apple into a small dice, melt the butter and cook the apple dice for a few minutes, then add the calvados and leave to one side. Keep all the trimming, peelings and core.
- Drain any fat into a large sauce and add the shallots, carrots and celery, cook until slightly brown, drain off any fat, add the bones back to the pan and pour in the cider and apple juice. Bring to the boil, add the thyme, bay leaves and apple trimmings, boil for 5 minutes, add the chicken and veal stocks and cover with cold water. Bring to a gentle simmer, skim off any fat and scum and simmer for one hour.
- Drain though a fine sieve into a clean saucepan and reduce to a slightly thick sauce.
- Everything for this dish can be done up to this stage.
- Season the duck breasts and place two into a large frying pan shin side down and cook until golden, turn over for one minute, then transfer to a tray, drain off the fat and repeat with the other two breasts.
- Roast in a hot oven at 220°C for 10 minutes for pink and leave to rest for a further 10 minutes in a warm place while you cook the pancakes and spinach.
- To serve place a pancake onto four heated plates, top with a spoonful of spinach, crave the breasts and arrange on top, spoon the heated sauce over and serve at once.