Duck is a richly flavoured meat; a flavour which can easily be spoiled by overcooking. Always take care to avoid this.
Chicory and fig is a classic combination with duck. Baking the chicory helps to bring out the sweetness and takes the bitterness down a notch.

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1/2 small butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon of ghee
  • 1 head of white chicory, cut in half lengthways
  • 2 figs
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of sherry vinegar (other vinegar will do, but sherry works particularly well here)
  • 2 duck breasts
  • 2 handful of chopped kale

Method

Preheat the oven to 200C
Peel and chop the butternut squash, place into a saucepan and cover with stock or just water, season with salt and simmer until cooked through, blend only with enough water to produce a smooth, but thick puree, keep warm for service
Score (in diamond slashes) and season the skin of the duck and place into a large dry frying pan and bring to a high heat (starting with a cold pan ensures the skin doesn’t tighten and the fat renders evenly)
Once the duck starts releasing its fat, pop the chicory into the pan with the duck, cut side down
Cook until the skin of the duck is deep golden brown, flip the duck and pop into the oven for 8-10 minutes until the duck is firm with only the slightest give
Once the duck is on the oven, thinly slice the figs and pop into a bowl with the honey, vinegar and a pinch of salt and leave to marinate
Once the duck comes out of the oven, leave to eat for a few minutes
Steam your kale for 5 minutes
Warm the puree though with the ghee
To plate up, start with the puree, top with figs and kale followed by the sliced duck