Duck and Cherries

Serves 8
  • Steps
  • Ingredients


  • Preheat oven to 190°C fan forced.
  • For the Duck and Cherry Jus, place the duck bones into a roasting dish and roast until dark and caramelised, about 30 minutes.
  • Heat a grill pan over high heat. Add the cherries and cook until blackened.
  • Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the oil, onion, carrot, celery and garlic and cook until lightly caramelised. Add the roasted duck bones and cover with duck stock. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and allow liquid to simmer until reduced by half, about 25-30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, place the pinot noir and charred cherries into a medium saucepan and simmer until the wine is reduced by ¾’s, about 25-30 minutes.
  • Strain the duck stock through a fine sieve. Place into a large frypan over a medium heat. Strain the reduced wine into the duck stock, whisk together and simmer until reduced and thickened, about 25-30 minutes. Once reduced, reduce the heat and whisk in the butter. Season with salt to taste. Cover to keep warm.
  • For the Pulled Duck Legs, place ingredients, except the wine, into a pressure cooker. Cook under high pressure for 30 minutes (the duck meat should fall off the bone.)
  • Transfer the duck legs to a bowl, cover with cooking liquid and set aside to cool. Strain the remaining liquid into a saucepan, add the red wine and simmer until reduced and thickened.
  • Shred the duck meat and dress with the reduced braising liquid. Cover and keep warm.
  • Reduce the oven to 180°C.
  • For the Roasted Beetroots, wrap the beetroots in foil and roast until tender, about 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Peel and dice finely. Stir through the pulled duck leg mixture.
  • For the Cherry Fluid Gel, combine the cherries, water, vinegar and peppercorns in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve into a jug and reserve 200g cherry and vinegar liquid in a small saucepan. Whisk in the agar and return to the heat. Bring to the boil, whisking continuously and boil for 1 minute. Pour into a tray and set in the fridge.
  • Once set, place into the canister of a stick blender and process until smooth. Pass through a fine sieve and transfer to a squeeze bottle.
  • For the Duck Breasts, score and salt the duck skin. Place skin side down into a cold oven safe frying pan. Place over a low heat and cook to render out the duck fat and crisp up the skin. This can take up to 10 minutes and you may need to pour out the duck fat at times.
  • Turn the breasts over then place pan into the oven and cook for 4 ½ -5 minutes until the duck breast is just cooked through. Transfer the fillets to a clean chopping board and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes Carve lengthways, brush with duck fat and season with sea salt flakes.
  • To serve, place a 6cm ring mould into the centre of a serving plate. Add pulled duck meat and press down gently to fill the ring mould. Remove the mould and repeat on the remaining plates.
  • Top the leg meat with 6 or 7 pieces of fresh cherry. Squeeze 3 dots of the cherry gel around the fresh cherries and top with thyme flowers. Add a portion of duck breast and some jus. Serve with the remaining jus on the side.

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