Pan fried duck breast with potatoes dauphinoise and red wine sauce

Pan fried duck breast with potatoes dauphinoise and red wine sauce

Pan fried duck breast with potatoes dauphinoise and red wine sauce

Pan fried duck breast with potatoes dauphinoise and red wine sauce

Today I’m carrying on with last week’s theme of preparing and cooking either foods or recipes which I don’t use as often. I’m starting this week with some gorgeous pan fried duck breasts which I’ll serve up with potatoes dauphinoise and a red wine sauce. I picked duck breast for today’s recipe because it is a meat and a cut which I don’t often buy or cook at home. I love having crispy duck out in restaurants or in a chinese takeaway but I wouldn’t pick it up from the supermarket that often.

I’ll also be serving up some venison later in the week. It might sound like I’m showing off and spending a fortune on food this week, however, I bought the duck breast, venison steaks and some rump steak in a three for £10 deal at my Morrisons supermarket. Not bad with three great cuts of meat for just £10.

potatoes dauphinoise

potatoes dauphinoise

I’ve paired the duck with some potatoes dauphinoise, an old favourite of mine both to cook and eat, and a red wine sauce. There were two reasons why I did this. Firstly I had been looking for a classic pairing with duck and this French potato dish satisfied that. Secondly I had a great potato dauphinoise and red wine gravy with some lamb when we stopped for lunch at Le Train Bleu in Paris, see my review here, on our way to our honeymoon in Italy.

After a little searching I found this duck breast recipe by Josh Eggleton from the Great British Chefs website. It looked exactly what I wanted to prepare for Hana and I, a lovely romantic meal. If you look at the original recipe you’ll see Josh served it with caramelised chicory. I couldn’t get hold of this in the supermarket or my green grocers so I decided to serve it with green beans and carrots.

For me the best part of this dish was the red wine sauce. It was so satisfying to cook and prepare, making that beautifully rich and glossy sauce and it went so well with the duck. When it was cooking and reducing down, the smell of the vegetables, wine and stock cooking down was just beautiful – I couldn’t help but keep taking a little taste or two.

One of my favourite duck recipes Magret de canard et foie gras

One of my favourite duck recipes Magret de canard et foie gras

Image by Wikipedia

We both loved the red wine sauce so much that we ended up having it the following evening for dinner when Hana cooked us the lovely venison steaks I got at the same time as the duck along with some creamy mashed potatoes.  

Choose a good quality red wine to make the sauce with, a wine you’d be more than happy to serve with the duck and drink with it. Yes, you could use a cheaper bottle as there’s a good glass or so going in the pan or even use a red cooking vermouth. But I think that if you’re making a special dish like this with a lovely cut of meat and a great side dish with the potatoes dauphinoise, they deserve that good quality – full bodied and fruity red wine.

Pan fried duck breast with potatoes dauphinoise and red wine sauce

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print


Pan-roasted duck breast

Potato dauphinoise

Red wine sauce

To serve

  • green beans
  • carrots


Red wine sauce

  • Start with the red wine sauce as this will take the longest to cook. Prepare the the leeks, shallots, carrots, celery and garlic as directed. Keep the garlic whole but crushed.
  • Pop a medium sized pan on a high heat and coat the bottom of the pan in olive oil. Add the vegetables and stir then reduce to a medium heat. Cook the vegetables down for around 20 minutes or until they are very soft and starting to take on a brown colour.  Whilst these are cooking get on with your potatoes.
  • Add 3 sprigs of the rosemary on the stalks along with the bayleaf then pour in the red wine. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook till almost all the liquid has evaporated and you have an almost dry pan.
  • Add the stock and simmer gently to reduce by half. When it is reduced pour through a strainer to get a velvety liquid. Reserve this till everything else is almost cooked. When around 10 minutes from serving up return the red wine sauce to a medium heat and simmer till reduced and thickened into a sauce. When you’re ready to serve, take off the heat and stir the butter through. As it melts it will make the sauce velvety smooth and glossy. Spoon over your pan fried duck breast.

Potatoes dauphinoise

  • Pre-heat your oven to 160˚C/gas mark 3. Finely slice the potatoes, I used a knife but you could use a mandolin if you have one.
  • Mix the cream, milk, garlic, pepper and nutmeg in a sauce pan then pop on a medium heat and bring to the boil. Set aside.
  • Brush the inside of a roasting pan or dish with butter and rub a clove of garlic into it to impart the flavour.
  • Layer the potatoes in the dish, make sure to overlap them as you build the layers up. Top with the creamy milk mixture, it should be enough to cover the potatoes. Pop in the centre of the oven and bake for 45 – 55 minutes.

Duck breast

  • Start cooking your duck breast when your potatoes are about 20 minutes away from being cooked. Season the duck breast then pop a non-stick on the hob, skin side down. Don’t add any oil as you want to render the duck fat and make it nice and crispy.
  • Add the duck breast TO A COLD PAN then turn the heat onto medium – high. This helps slowly release and render the fat. As it cooks it will release fat which you can keep draining off with a spoon. Cook for 6-8 minutes skin side won then seal on the other side. Remove from the pan and cover to let the meat rest for around 10 minutes.
  • While you are resting your duck breast, pop the sauce back on the hob to finish as directed so it is ready at the same time and boil your carrots and green beans.

Serve the duck breast with some of the vegetables and a portion of the potatoes dauphinoise. Spoon the red wine gravy over the duck breast and serve with a glass of wine.

Russell BowesText and photos By Russell Bowes Find me on Google Plus, catch up and message me on Twitter and see more great pictures on Flickr and Instagram. Pin with me on Pintrest.


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