Spiced duck with melon, curly kale and duck jus

Spiced duck with melon, curly kale and duck jus

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It takes time but this recipe mainly looks after itself and is a surprisingly simple way to create an impressive main.


For the melon foie gras
  • 1 piel de sapo melon, peeled, seeds removed and cut into slices
  • olive oil, for frying
For the duck jus
  • 1 duck carcass, cut into pieces
  • 1 carrot, cut into chunks
  • 2 sticks celery, cut into chunks
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 500ml/1lb 2oz good-quality beef stock
For the spiced duck
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 duck breasts, trimmed and skin scored
  • 50g/1¾oz unsalted butter
  • 110g/3¾oz curly kale, stalks discarded, chopped
For the mint oil
  • 10g/⅓oz fresh mint
  • 100ml/3½fl oz olive oil

Preparation method

  1. For the melon foie gras, place the melon in a vacuum pack plastic bag and seal. Leave in the fridge for 48 hours.

  2. For the duck jus, preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

  3. Put the carcass and vegetables in a large roasting tray and roast in the oven for 40-50 minutes.

  4. Remove from the oven and add the stock. Cook on the hob for an hour over a low heat. Strain the mixture and pour the jus back into the roasting tray. Cook over a medium-high heat until the volume of liquid has reduced to a sauce consistency.

  5. For the spiced duck breast and curly kale, preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

  6. Dry fry all the spices in a frying pan for 1-2 minutes until the spices start to release their oils. Remove from the pan and place in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar and grind to a powder.

  7. Sprinkle the duck all over with the spice mix.

  8. Heat a large frying pan and add the duck skin-side down. Cook slowly until the fat has rendered out.

  9. Place the duck in the oven for 8-12 minutes, depending on the size of the duck breast. Remove from the oven and set aside to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

  10. For the melon foie gras, remove the melon from the vacuum pack bag and fry in a little oil until golden-brown.

  11. In the meantime, heat a large pan and add the butter. Once hot, add the kale and a little water and cook for 1-2 minutes until wilted.

  12. For the mint oil, blend the mint and oil in a blender and until smooth, then pass through a sieve.

  13. To serve, slice the duck breasts and place on a serving plate along with the kale and melon. Pour the duck jus around the plate along with a drizzle of mint oil.

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James Martin recipes from Saturday Kitchen

Overnight preparation time

Over 2 hours cooking time