100ml water
2 thyme sprigs
50g dried shiitake mushrooms
2 duck breasts
1 garlic clove
40g butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
8 small fresh shiitake mushrooms
200g small garden peas
100g white currants
50g finely chopped chervil
sea salt

Roast Duck Breast with White Currants, Peas and Shiitake


White currants are delicious with all gamey meats but especially duck. The peas and currants are a wonderful double act, contrasting yet complementary as you chomp a mouthful of spheres that are some acidic, some sweet.

Bring the water to the boil and pour over a sprig of thyme and the dried mushrooms. Leave to infuse while you prepare your duck breast.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas mark 4. Evenly score the duck skin and season heavily with salt. Place the duck breasts, skin side down, in a cold pan over a medium heat. Hold the duck breasts down as the heat begins to render the fat from the skin. Keep the pressure on the duck and take your time slowly crisping the duck skin. Render the fat until it is as crisp as you would like to eat it as it will not render much more in the cooking process. Flip the breasts over and colour the flesh side.

Flip back onto the skin side and place in the oven for 2 minutes. Remove from the oven and flip onto the flesh side. Add the remaining sprig of thyme and the garlic and return to the oven for 2 more minutes. Remove the duck from the pan and leave to rest while you make the garnish.

Place a frying pan over a high heat and add half the butter. Add the shallot and fresh mushrooms and season with salt. Strain the mushroom stock and add to the pan with the peas. Allow the stock to reduce slightly before adding the white currants, chervil and the rest of the butter. Stir everything together and check the seasoning.

Spoon the peas, currants and mushrooms into two serving dishes. Carve the duck breasts and lay them on top.