The combination of fruit and duck is an often used classic, but to make it truly work and take your duck dish to the next level you need a good brown sauce base. The idea of creating a sauce often leaves many with trepidation, but it doesn’t have to be, the key to sucess is a good stock.
In this case I created a brown stock from the bones and giblets of the duck but if you don’t have duck bones chicken will do. So first lets make a brown stock. Remember once the stock or even the sauce is made it can be frozen for later use.
1 litre Cold Water
700 g Duck /chicken Bones
1 packet Duck/chicken giblets
50 grams tomatoes
150 grams Carrots roughly chopped
150 grams onions roughly chopped
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large clove garlic
1-2 bay leaves
8-10 black peppercorns
Mushroom trimmings (optional)*
- Preheat oven to 190 C ( fan assisted).
- Brown the bones and giblets in a wok in the olive oil, on a high heat and then transfer them to a roasting pan and into the oven on the top shelf.
- Now brown the carrots and onions in the wok , on high heat and add them to the bones you have roasting.
- Once the bones and vegetables are golden brown transfer them to large saucepan and cover with the cold water. Add the garlic, bay leaves, tomatoes, mushroom trimmings* and peppercorns and bring to a slow simmer. Skim the stock to remove any impurities, turn down the heat and don’t allow the stock to boil.
- Cook for 45 minutes and then strain through a fine strainer. You should end up with about 800 ml stock.
Duck Breast with Marsala Sauce and Raspberries (serves 4)
20 grams plain flour
20 grams unsalted butter
600 ml Brown stock
2.5 Tbsp raspberry puree or seedless jam
3 Tbsp Marsala superiore
4 x 170 gram (6oz ) Duck breasts
1 punnet fresh raspberries
- Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan on a medium heat and stir in the flour to make the roux.
- Keep stirring and cook out for at least 4 minutes to lightly brown the roux before slowly beginning to add the brown stock.
- Add the stock a little at a time making sure you keep stirring the roux, to avoid lumps and prevent it from burning. Once all the stock is added stir in the raspberry puree and Marsala and turn the heat down.
- The sauce will be quite thin at this point so it needs to reduce down further on a low heat, but still stir from time to time to avoid burning.The sauce needs to be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and be a nice dark rich brown like mine in the photo, then remove from the heat and reserve.
- Make a crisscross pattern on the duck fat to help the cooking process.
- Preheat your fan assited oven to 190 C (375 F).
- Place the duck breasts skin side down into a hot nonstick oven proof frying pan, you don’t need oil because there is enough fat in the skin of the duck. Season the breasts with sea salt and black pepper.
- Sauté the breasts making sure they are brown on all sides and then transfer the frying pan into the oven on the middle shelf. Make sure the duck breasts are again skin down.
- Cook for 4 minutes and then turn the breasts and cook in the oven for another 5-6 minutes so the duck breasts are cooked medium. Remove from the pan and place on a warm plate to rest for 5 minutes.
Make sure your sauce is hot and arrange your vegetables and potatoes on your warm dinner plate. Spoon 3 dessert spoons of sauce (more if you wish) onto each plate and cut each duck breast diagonally in two. Place the duck breasts onto your sauce and decorate with 3-4 fresh raspberries.
I sometimes add mushroom trimmings* to brown stock to enrich the flavour and colour of the stock.
Any left over brown stock can be kept for up to a week or frozen. If you don’t have raspberry jam or readymade puree to hand you could make you own with fresh raspberries and a little sugar, and strain to remove the seeds. Remember you don’t want the raspberry puree too sweet as Marsala can also be sweet.
I have chosen to serve my duck breast with flat green beans, sauté potatoes (skin on sliced potatoes) blanched in boiling water and then cooked in duck fat and shallots poached in stock with thyme and then caramelised.
Is a fortified wine, that can be dry or sweet and is produced in the region surrounding the Italian city of Marsala in Sicily. I usually look for a dry Marsala superiore (which has been aged for at least 2 years) because you can’t make good sauce with bad wine. Besides being used in savoury Italian meat dishes Marsala is also used in zabaione.
Duck Breast with Marsala Sauce and Raspberries © Kevin Ashton 2022
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