Roasted Duck Breast with Carrot Parsnip Cakes and French Forest Mushroom Sauce

  • Roasted Duck Breast with Carrot Parsnip Cakes and French Forest Mushroom Sauce

Roasted Duck Breast with Carrot Parsnip Cakes and French Forest Mushroom Sauce


Photo:  Andrew Gorrie "The Dominion Post"
(serves 6)

Look for plump duck breasts and while frozen duck is perfectly acceptable fresh duck always seems to be juicer.


6 duck breasts (bone out, skin on)

Carrot Parsnip Cakes

French Forest Mushroom Sauce



· Preheat oven to 220°C.

· Neaten duck breasts by trimming any excess fat and skin.

· Into duck breast skin score a crisscross pattern across each breast with a sharp knife. Be careful that you do not cut the actual meat.

· Heat a heavy-based frypan to a medium heat and without adding any oil, place duck breasts skin-side down into pan. You may need to do this in two or three batches.

· Cook duck breasts till skin is golden brown and crisp. As the duck breast skin browns fat will begin to gather in the pan. During the browning process pour off fat and retain for another use.

· Turn breasts over and brown the meat side.

· Place duck into an ovenproof pan or tray and place in preheated oven for 5-7 minutes or till cooked medium-rare.

· Remove breasts from oven and rest in a warmed dish away from the heat, covered with a heavy tea towel, for up to 5 minutes.

· Slice each duck breast into four or five slices and arrange on warmed dinner plates. Accompany with Carrot Parsnip Cakes and pour a ladleful of French Forest Mushroom Sauce over each serving.

Carrot and Parsnip Cakes

(makes 6 – 8 cakes}

Cut cakes from the baked mixture using a cookie cutter {we usually make smallish cakes measuring 5 cm} or a cup or glass as a template.


150g{1 med to small } carrot (peeled and cubed)

150g (1 med to small} parsnip (peeled and cubed)

1/2 tsp flaky sea salt

250ml (1 cup) cream

¾ tsp finely chopped garlic

2 eggs (lightly beaten)

1 egg yolk (lightly beaten)

¼ tsp flaky sea salt

1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper

¼ tsp freshly ground nutmeg

15ml (1 tbsp) olive oil


· Preheat oven to 130°C. Line a 15cm x 10 cm low sided roasting tray, a 20cm diameter cake tin or quiche tin with a Teflon sheet cut to fit, or with baking paper lightly greased with oil, baking spray or melted butter.

· Place carrot and parsnip into a saucepan, cover with cold water, add first measure salt and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or till soft.

· Drain off water and add cream and garlic to the saucepan. Return to the heat and cook to reduce cream by half. Remove from heat and cool for 20 minutes.

· Place cream mixture into a food processor fitted with a metal blade and process till smooth. Through feed tube with food processor running slowly pour eggs and egg yolks.

· Add salt, pepper and nutmeg and taste for seasoning.

· Pour mixture into a prepared tray. Place in oven and bake for 30-40 minutes or till set.

· Remove from oven, cool and refrigerate. When cold cut into rounds. Proceed to next step or store covered in refrigerator for up to 3 days.

· When required place a heavy-based frypan over a moderate heat and add oil. Place cakes into frypan and brown on both sides. Serve immediately.

French Forest Mushroom Sauce

(makes 450 mls)

You will find dried French mushrooms for sale in speciality food stores. The labelling will often allude to the forest indicating they are wild mushrooms or perhaps these days the variety is still found in the wild. Dried mushrooms provide a very savoury taste to a mushroom sauce.


7g (1/4 cup) dried French mushrooms

125ml (1/2 cup) hot water

15m{1tbsp) olive oil

45g (1/4 med) onion (chopped)

30g button mushrooms (sliced)

100g {1/2 med) carrot (peeled and diced)

40g (1/2 stalk) diced celery

15g (1/8 cup) roughly chopped leeks

sprig thyme

1 bay leaf

1 sprig parsley

1leaf sage

1/2 garlic clove (finely chopped)

½ tsp flaky sea salt

¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

565ml (2 + 1/4 cups) chicken stock (hot)


· Place dried mushrooms into a bowl and cover with hot water. Set aside for 30 minutes till rehydrated. Strain and reserve mushrooms and infused water. {The infused water may be gritty so pour through a paper towel lined sieve to remove any grit}.

· Place a saucepan over medium heat and add olive oil. Add onion, button mushrooms, carrots, celery, leeks, thyme, bay leaf, parsley, sage and garlic. Lower heat and cook slowly till vegetables are soft and sweated.

· Add chicken stock and reserved mushroom water and simmer till liquid has reduced by half.

· Strain liquid retaining the liquid and discarding the vegetables. Place liquid back into saucepan; add rehydrated dried mushrooms and salt and pepper.

· Bring to the boil, cover with a lid and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or till mushrooms are tender. Serve sauce immediately or refrigerate and reheat to serve.