A passing bird (in a kriek sauce)

Two blog posts in one day I know, but I’ve been meaning to include some cooking for some time and as this is pretty much ny own with no outside help then I thought it would be a nice addition.

The above is my latest cooking adventure – a duck breast with kriek beer sauce on a bed of crushed potato with chives.

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I’ll put a little recipe below if anyone is interested.. Bear in mind this was only to feed me!

Ingredients

1 Bottle of Kriek Beer
Handful of Chives, chopped
1 Duck breast
3-4 medium sized new potatoes
2 teaspoons of crème fraîche
Cherry Jam
Glacé Cherries
Salt and pepper

1. Prepare the crushed potato – Boil new potatoes until cooked yet still a little firm. I like to leave the skins on to add texture, but you can easily remove them if you prefer. Drain and then add chopped chives to saucepan. Leave to rest for now.

2. Prepare the sauce – Add a few glugs of kriek beer (roughly a generous glass to a saucepan and heat until steaming. Add a teaspoon and a half of cherry jam and leave to reduce until the required consistency (I liked mine quite thick and gloopy). If you start the duck around halfway through the making of the sauce it should be ready by the end – it is a very simple (and darned tasty) sauce.

3. Cook the duck – Prepare the duck by rubbing in salt and pepper then place in a griddle pan to fry. I learned somewhere to cook a duck breast skin down starting from a cold pan. This is to give it time to gradually cook and release the fat from the skin (the opposite to steak where the aim is to sear the skin and seal in the flavour). Cook for 6 minutes on the skin side, and then turn to cook the unskinned side for another 5-6 minutes. This leaves the duck quite rare, which is to my particular taste – you may wish to give it a bit longer or even transfer to the oven to finish if that isn’t to your taste!

4. When the duck is cooked put it to the side for a few minutes while you finish the crushed potato and kriek sauce. Like steak duck is very juicy and if you were to slice it you would lose a lot of the juices – giving it time to rest allows the meat to reabsorb a lot of the juices into the meat – although don’t leave so long it goes cold!

5. Add the glacé cherries to the sauce and allow them to heat through, quickly boil off the remainder of the sauce to reach required consistency if you’re not there already – it won’t take long for the cherries to warm!

6. Gently crush the potato with a fork – DO NOT MASH – you only need to crush them into lumps. Add the crème fraîche and fold it into the potato while adding heat as the crème fraîche will lower the temperature and nobody wants cold potato!

7. Add the potato to the plate as a base – I didn’t bother above but for presentation if you have any rings around (for almost anything – cookie cutting is my own personal favourite) spoon the potato into these for shape.

8. Cut the duck separately and place on top of potato – don’t cut it on top of your bed of potato or you’ll squish it all out of shape!

9. Spoon over the hot kriek beer sauce – pour yourself the remainder of the kriek beer into a glass and enjoy!

If you’re much more organised/hungry than me then a simple green vegetable like broccoli would go down a treat with it.

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