Jane Devonshire Recipes

Pan Roasted Duck Breast with a Sweet Pickled Fennel and Apple Salad, Beetroot Sauce
Main Course

Starter for two


Beetroot Sauce

3 baby beetroot (300gm approx)

1 - 2 tablespoon pomegranate molasses

Big sprig thyme

50gm butter

Salt and pepper


Pickled Fennel and Apple Salad

1 Granny Smith apple

1 medium fennel bulb

Sprig of thyme

125ml rice wine vinegar

6 – 8 Szechuan peppercorns

125gm sugar

250ml water


2 Duck Breasts



  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 beetroots onto a large tin foil square making sure there's enough room around it to be able to fold over and form a good seal with no leakage                                                                     

  4. Put the pomegranate molasses, 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 generously with salt and pepper                                                                   

  7. Using a cold non-stick frying pan lay the duck breast onto the pan and put the hob on a low heat and leave alone for 4 - 6 minutes until the skin is crispy and golden and all the fat has rendered out. Cooking times are dependent on the thickness of your duck and its skin                                                          

  8. Once the fat has rendered, pop the duck breast into the oven for 3 - 5 minutes. You want it to be lovely and pink so don't overcook                                                                          

  9. Now make the pickle. Place the rice wine vinegar, the water, sugar, thyme and szechuan pepper into a saucepan and bring to the boil; keep simmering until all the sugar has dissolved                     

  10. Using the slicing attachment on the food processor, or by hand finely slice the fennel bulb (you might need to remove some tough outer leaves) and apple with the skin on but core removed                                                                           

  11. Drain the pickle juice into a jug to remove all of the bits and then add the sliced fennel and apple to the pickle liquor. I leave this about 5 minutes. I like the vegetables to be crispy and to have taken on the pickle flavour                                         

  12. Check duck. Remove from the oven just before it's 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. Add to the beetroot to a blender. Blend until you have a smooth puree. You can mash it but it will not be so fine                        

  15. Once a smooth puree achieved you can serve like that or put some into a J Cloth and squeeze through 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


I decorate using the green leafy bits off the top of the fennel bulb and if I have Viola flowers I use those as well.

© 2016 Jane Devonshire

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