Jane Devonshire's Pan Fried Duck Breast


1. Preheat Oven Gas Mark 6, 200 C, 400 F

2. Top and Tail and cut the beetroot into halves (I use disposable rubber gloves whenever handling beetroot to stop my hands getting stained).

3. Put onto tin foil making sure enough room around it to be able to fold over and form a good seal with no leakage.

4. Drizzle over the pomegranate molasses and put the Thyme, Butter and salt and pepper over the Beetroot.

5. Fold over top of tinfoil and put into preheated oven for 1 hour until really soft and tender.

6. Cut the duck breasts on the skin side until nearly through to the flesh but not quite and season with salt and pepper be generous

7. Using a cold non stick frying pan lay the duck breast onto the pan and put the hob on a low to medium heat and leave alone for 4-6 minutes until the skin is crispy and golden and all the fat has rendered out.

This is purely dependant on the thickness of the duck breast and the skin.

8. Once the fat has rendered pop the duck breast into the oven for 3 -5 minutes.

9. Combine all the pickle ingredients in the pan with the exception of the fennel and the apple and bring to the boil

10. Using the slicing attachment on the mixer, or by hand, put the apple (core removed) and the fennel and quickly fine slice both.

11. Drain the Pickle juice into a jug and add the sliced fennel and apple

12. Check Duck Remove from the oven just before its medium rare it should be like poking the fleshy part at the base of your thumb. Leave to one side to rest.

13. Remove the beetroot from the oven and leave to cool a little.

14. Tip the juices from the beetroot into a blender, remove the skins from the beets and add to the blender until a smooth puree, you may need to add a little more butter and water or stock if you have it.

15. Once a smooth puree achieved you can serve like that or run through a cloth to get a Sauce.

16. Splash the Beetroot onto a plate, Cut the duck and place on the sauce and put a portion of the fennel and apple to the side.

Jane's tip: "I take the little green fronds from the tops of the fennel and use them to decorate the salad. I have also used edible viola flowers in the picture."


Prep time:

Cook time:

Serves: 0

  • For the beetroot sauce:

  • 3 baby beetroot (300g approx.)

  • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses

  • 1 big sprig of thyme

  • 50g butter

  • Salt and pepper

  • For the pickled fennel and apple:

  • 1 granny smith apple

  • 1 medium bulb fennel

  • Thyme

  • 125ml rice wine vinegar

  • 6-8 Szechuan peppercorns

  • 125g sugae

  • 250ml water

  • Plus:

  • 2 duck breasts

  • Salt and pepper