Pan-fried duck breast with squash pickle and peach purée

Pan-fried duck breast with squash pickle and peach purée

Peach purée cuts through the richness of the duck breast in James Martin’s stylish dinner party dish.


For the squash pickle
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 400g/14oz butternut squash, peeled, cut into 1cm/½in cubes
  • 2 green chillies, seeds removed, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp black onion seeds
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric

  • ½ tsp ground fenugreek
  • 4 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • 4 tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tbsp mango chutney
  • 1 lime, juice only
For the duck
  • 3 tbsp clear honey
  • 4 duck breasts, trimmed and skin scored
  • 2 tsp five-spice powder
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • drizzle olive oil
  • 3 peaches, halved, stones removed
  • knob of butter
  • 1 punnet red amaranth cress
  • 1 punnet coriander cress

Preparation method

  1. For the squash pickle, heat a frying pan until hot, add the oil and butternut squash and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes, or until softened and golden-brown.

  2. Stir in the chopped chilli, onion seeds, turmeric and fenugreek, then reduce the heat slightly and stir fry for 4-5 minutes, or until the butternut squash is tender.

  3. Stir in the chopped coriander, mint, chutney and lime juice. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and keep warm.

  4. Meanwhile, for the duck, preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

  5. Heat a frying pan until very hot, add the honey and the duck breasts, fat-side down. Add one teaspoon of five-spice powder, season to taste with salt and pepper and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until golden-brown.

  6. Transfer the duck breasts to an ovenproof pan or oven dish and arrange skin side up. Add a drizzle of olive oil and place in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes.

  7. Fry the peach halves in a frying pan with a knob of butter and a teaspoon of five spice. When the peaches are soft and caramelised set them aside to cool slightly.

  8. Remove the duck from the oven and set the duck aside to rest for five minutes.

  9. When cooled, blend the peaches to a purée in a food processer.

  10. To serve, spoon the squash pickle onto serving plates, slice the duck breast and arrange on top. Spoon the peach purée alongside. Spoon over the cooking juices from the duck and finish with a scattering of red amaranth and coriander cress.

James Martin recipes from Saturday Kitchen Best Bites

Less than 30 mins preparation time

No cooking required cooking time

Serves 4