My french grandmother is an amazing cook. She has definitely taught me a thing or two in the kitchen. A lot of my cooking style is heavily influenced on her work. A couple of things she has taught me… meat should always be soft and rare so that your knife glides through it, releasing all the juicy and tender flavours. For example, never will she plate up well done beef, that would be a criminal offence. Another thing, never created a dish without a sauce to accompany it, when cooking meat or poultry, always use the meat juices to create a flavourful and delicious sauce. And thirdly, season well and there is never too much garlic. I mean, she’s French. Of course there is never too much garlic.
This pan fried duck, mash and beans dish is really influenced from a lot of the food she has served me as a child. The pan fried duck is pink, juicy and moist with a crispy skin. The mash is smooth, creamy and buttery with buttered garlic beans. It’s a match made in heaven.
Let’s get cooking.
-2 duck breasts
-6 medium potatoes
-Creme fraiche (2tbsp)
-Butter (2 tbsp)
-Garlic (2 cloves)
-3 tbsp milk/water (optional)
-Salt & pepper to taste
Begin by peeling and slicing the potatoes into small quarters, and place them into a saucepan of cold salted water. Put it on the hob and heat the water with a lid on the pan until boiling point, then remove the lid and allow the potatoes to cook for at least 15 minutes (until they are soft).
You can also now put the green beans into another saucepan with boiling water. These should take 5-7 minutes to cook, from frozen add an extra 2-3 minutes.
Whilst the potatoes are cooking, season the duck breast skin by sprinkling salt and pepper over the entire skin surface. Place the duck breast skin down onto a cold and oiled pan. Put the pan on a high heat hob and leave the duck breast skin face down so it can crisp up. I had quite large duck breasts so this required a couple extra minutes cooking. If you aren’t using particularly large duck breasts, cook for 2 minutes less than I have for a pink, rare breast.
After a good 5 minutes, flip the duck breast onto the opposite side to further cook it. Now leave the breast to cook for 7-8 minutes on the same heat, adding a tablespoon of butter to the pan. After cooking the breast for about 14 minutes, you can put the duck breast into a oven dish and finish off the cooking for a couple of minutes in the oven at a medium heat (190 degrees). This also allows the juices to come out.
Now the duck breast is in the oven, drain the potatoes. In the same pan, put a tablespoon of butter in the pan with the creme fraiche. With a potato masher, begin mashing te potatoes. They will be thick still and not a ‘puree’ which is what the consistency should edge towards. I didn’t have milk, so I mixed the creme fraiche pot with water to create a milky liquid. Mix milk/water into the mashed potatoes to create a smoother consistency. When the potatoes are smooth, salt and pepper them and add another knob of butter before placing them into the oven at low heat to keep hot whilst assembling the rest.
The beans should be cooked after just under 10 minutes cooking time. Drain the water and add salt and pepper straight away to ‘lock in’ the seasoning. Now add a tbsp of butter into the beans. Finely chop garlic cloves (or use garlic granules) and add them into the beans too. Give all of the pot a big mix.
You are now ready to serve! I sliced my duck breast into a couple of slices, the interior should be very pink and juicy with a crispy, salty skin. Assemble the duck, mash and beans onto your plate. After cutting your duck breasts, you should find the dish you cooked the duck breasts in has a rich duck juice and butter sauce. Spoon the juices onto the duck and serve.
Perfect for a dinner to impress and not too difficult to make! This recipe only takes 25 minutes to assemble all together. I have never been disappointed with this French style dinner.
Give it a try and let me know how it goes!
Comment below, let me know what you think 🙂