Szechuan Pepper Duck Breast with Chestnuts, Brussel Sprouts and Beetroot

By Adrian Lander
Feature recipe for July 2013

Serves 4
  • 2 tablespoon white, black, pink pepper (or whatever is available)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rock salt
  • 4 medium duck breasts
  • 400g brussel sprouts, prepared, cut in half
  • length ways and blanched in boiling water
  • 100g pancetta, cut into pieces
  • 100g chestnuts, shelled, cut into small pieces
  • 50ml olive oil
  • a knob of butter
  • 3 medium sized beetroots, coarsely grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 50ml olive oil
  • a knob of butter
  • salt and pepper

Crush the pepper, salt and brown sugar in a pestle and mortar. Score the skin of the duck most of the way through, approximately 3mm apart. Rub mixture onto duck breasts until thickly coated on all sides and set aside (for at least 30 minutes) to prepare the ingredients of other dishes.

Preheat oven to 220ºC. Place the breasts skin side down in a frying pan over a low heat for approximately 5 minutes to melt off the fat and crisp the skin. Turn onto the flesh side and cook in the oven for about 5-6 minutes.

Heat oil in a saucepan, add the pancetta and cook until crispy. Add the sprouts and chestnuts, cook for approximately 5 minutes until soft with a little colour. Add butter and season to taste.
Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan, add the garlic and cook just before brown. Turn the heat up and add beetroot, mixing frequently until there is a slight change of colour to a dark purple. Season with salt and lots of pepper.

To serve, cut the duck into 8 slices per breast and serve with sprouts and beetroot. 

Enjoy with De Bortoli Riorret Emu Pinot Noir - It doesn’t get much better than this. Emu site produces distinctive spicy, ethereal Pinot with obvious but gentle tannin. Perfumed with red fruits, briar and cedar, it’s serious and irreverent. Grown on a steep southerly slope, tucked into the north-eastern corner of Dixons Creek it’s well protected from the northerly winds with enjoys highly mineral Humevale siltstone.

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