Alex Rushmer’s Duck Breast with crackling, pickled cucumber & spiced tobacco caramel

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This was one of the recipes we cooked at the Masterchef Cookalong at the recent BBC Good Food Show.

We made this recipe within the 30 minutes, except for the crackling as we didn’t have enough time for that. It is much simpler than I expected and the caramel is a deliciously fragrant invention, well done Alex.

Ingredients – Serves 2

2 Duck breasts, skin removed and reserved

150ml white wine vinegar

25g cater sugar

1 cinammon stick

1 star anise

3 cloves

pinch of smoky tobacco, such as Drum

watercress and squeeze of lemon to serve

1. Heat over to 180C/fan 160/gas 4. Sprinkle the duck skins with salt. Sandwich between two baking sheets and cook for 20 mins until crisp and brown. Pour off the fat and reserve.

2. Pour the white wine vinegar into a bowl. Add 25g caster sugar and stir until dossolved. Add the cucumber and leave to stand for 25 mins. Drain, rinse in water and pat dry with kitchen paper. Reserve.

3. Heat 150ml water in a  pan with the golden caster sugar until dissolved. Add the cinammon, star anise, cloves and tobacco. Bring gently to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 mins then strain through a sieve into a clean saucepan.  Boil the mixture hard to a caramel, coating consitency.

4. Season the duck breasts with salt. Heat the reserved duck fat in a frying pan. Add the duck breasts and cook for 4 mins, turn and cook for a further 3 mins. Remove from the heat and rest for 5 mins before slicing.

5. Arrange the sliced duck on warmed serving plates. Spoon over a little of the caramel sauce. Finish with the crackling, a few slices of the pickled cucumber and a few watercress leaves dressed with lemon juice.

Read about my exploits at the Masterchef Challenge here.

Alex Rushmer's Duck breast with cracklingAlex Rushmer's Duck breast with crackling
Alex Rushmer's Duck breast with crackling

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