Anthony and Cleopatra. Batman and Robin. Love and Marriage. Crime and Punishment. History and literature are full of iconic pairings, but one of our favourites has to be duck and orange. Some might call it retro, we say it's a classic. With this recipe you're going to learn how to melt the fat on the duck breasts. Cheffy types call this 'rendering' and it makes the skin lovely and crisp.
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Flat Leaf Parsley
Preheat your oven to 200°C. Put two large saucepans of water on to boil. Chop the potato into 2cm cubes (no need to peel!). Peel and grate the garlic (or use a garlic press). Halve the vine tomato through the equator. Trim the tops from the green beans. Twist and tear the parsley bunch in half. Roughly chop the parsley leaves(discard the stalks). Zest the orange, then cut in half.
Cook the potato in one of the pans of boiling water, 15 mins. Drain in a colander and return to the pan and pop the lid on. TIP: The potato is cooked when you can easily slip a knife through. Put the tomato halves on a baking tray, cut-side up. In a bowl, mix the garlic with a splash of olive oil, a pinch of salt and a grind of black pepper. Spoon this onto your tomatoes. Pop on the top shelf of your oven to roast for 20 mins.
Prepare each duck breast by scoring the skin gently in a criss-cross pattern. TIP: Scoring the skin will help to melt the duck fat under the skin. Season with a pinch of salt and a grind of black pepper.
Heat a frying pan over medium heat, add the duck, skin-side down. As the fat melts, pour it into a bowl. Cook until the skin is golden and crisp, around 5-7 mins. Turn the duck over and brown the flesh for 1 minute. Add the orange zest and juice to the pan. Turn the duck to coat, then transfer to the tomato baking tray in the oven (leave the orange sauce behind in the pan off the heat). Roast the duck for 5 mins.
When the duck goes in the oven, add the green beans to the other pan of boiling water. Cook until tender, 5 mins. While the beans cook, crush the potato with a potato masher or fork, mix in a pinch of salt, black pepper, splash of olive oil and half of the parsley. Cover with the lid to keep warm.
When the duck is cooked, take it out of your oven and let it rest on a chopping board for 5 mins before serving. Reheat the orange sauce on medium heat until piping hot. Spoon some crushed potato onto each plate with a few green beans alongside. Slice the duck and pop on top of the beans. Finish with a roasted tomato half and a sprinkling of the remaining parsley. Drizzle the orange sauce over the duck. Enjoy!