Roast Breast of Duck with Pan-Fried Polenta Cake

In this tempting dinner party-style menu, Richard Phillips serves juicy roast duck with a rich cherry-speckled sauce and golden herby polenta cakes
By Richard Phillips
Roast Breast of Duck with Pan-Fried Polenta Cake
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 55 minutes
  • Effort: medium


For the polenta

  • 675 ml water
  • 1/2 clove garlic, chopped
  • 300 g polenta
  • 120 g butter
  • 2 tbsp mascarpone
  • 2 tbsp chopped chives
  • grated nutmeg
  • freshly ground salt and black pepper

For the duck and sauce

  • 2x200 g duck breast
  • 100 ml red wine
  • sprig thyme
  • 500 ml chicken stock
  • 50 g bottled Griottine cherries, and their juices

For the lettuce

  • 30 g butter
  • 12 leaves baby gem lettuce
  • baby roasted onions, to serve


1. To make the polenta cake, bring the water and garlic to the boil and pour in the polenta. Cook for 25-30 minutes, until thickened, stirring continuously.

2. Stir in 100g of the butter, the mascarpone and the chives.

3. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and add the nutmeg.

4. Spread into a shallow tray, to a thickness of about 2cm; leave to cool.

5. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6.

6. Place the duck breasts into a non-stick ovenproof frying pan, skin side down and cook for 1-2 minutes.

7. Turn the breasts over and cook for a further 1-2 minutes. Transfer to the oven and cook for 7-8 minutes. Leave to rest for a couple of minutes.

8. Place the pan back onto the heat, add the red wine and thyme and cook for 3-4 minutes, until reduced by half.

9. Add the stock and the juice from the cherries. Cook for 5-6 minutes, until syrupy and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

10. Pass through a sieve and stir in the cherries.

11. Cut the polenta into 2 cakes. Heat the remaining butter in a frying pan and fry for 3-4 minutes, until golden brown.

12. Heat the butter for the lettuce in a small frying pan and fry the lettuce for 2-3 minutes, until golden. Season to taste.

13. To assemble the dish, place the polenta cakes in the centre of 2 warmed dinner plates and pile the lettuce leaves on top. Cut the duck breasts into slices and lay them on top of the lettuce. Drizzle with the sauce and serve with roasted baby onions.

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