I love a challenge so when Stoves asked if I wanted to recreate a chef's recipe from their website I spent ages perusing it for something luxurious which would work for a special NYE dinner party. The dish I ended up choosing was this duck and spiced plum jam recipe by Glynn Purnell. I always think of duck as a real luxury as I rarely cook it at home so it's perfect for a New Years treat. This dish was really easy to pull together and looked super special on the plate. The original recipe can be seen here.
I live in a rented house and although I like my kitchen, the oven is particularly terrible. It's old and the one long thin gas flame at the back just doesn't do a very good job. My brother and I often joke about the various 'rawst chickens' we've cooked over the last year and usually I add at least a third of any cooking time again for recipes requiring the oven. Don't even think about fondants or soufflés… I head to my mums for those! Stoves have some gorgeous ovens on their website and I've added several (especially one particular duck egg blue double oven) to my dream kitchen shopping list. One day… *sigh*
Anyway, back to task in hand. I chose this dish because it sounded delicious, but whilst we're on the subject, As a midlands born and bred chef, Glynn Purnell has always been one of my favourites. In my early blogging days I reviewed both his Birmingham michelin starred restaurant and his bistro (excuse the terrible pictures!). As well as this, I also chose his book as one of the three I took with me when I spoke on the Radio 4 Food Programme last year. So I guess really, this dish was a natural choice for me!
Ingredients (serves 2)
- 3 duck breasts – I used 2 large gressingham duck breasts
- 2 heads of pak choi
- A bunch of watercress – I used watercress, rocket & spinach
- Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
- 6 plums, stoned and chopped
- 200 g caster sugar
- 200 ml white wine vinegar
- 1 medium chilli, chopped
- Pinch of chilli powder
- 2 cloves of garlic, sliced
- Squeeze of lime juice
- Splash of soy sauce
- 1 tbsp chopped coriander
- Pinch of ginger powder
The instructions are quite vague. This is a relatively quick dish to pull together but you'll need to just watch the jam. Ensure your vinegar to sugar measurements are correct and be patient – it takes a little time to thicken!
- Preheat the oven to 180˚C/gas 4.
- Begin by making the plum jam. Heat the sugar and vinegar until it starts to thicken.
- Add the chilli and chilli powder, garlic, lime juice and soy sauce. Add the chopped plums and cook until tender.
- Add the coriander, take off the heat and season with salt and ginger powder.
- Break the pak choi into individual leaves and split each leaf down the middle. Put to one side.
- Heat a frying pan. Slash the duck skin and place the breasts, skin side down, on the warm pan. Cook until the skin has caramelised (about 3 minutes). Pour off the excess fat and put it to one side.
- Lay the duck breasts, skin side down in a baking tin, and cook in the oven for 7–8 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for a few minutes.
- Pour the excess fat back into the frying pan and place on a medium heat. Once hot, add the pak choi and toss in the hot duck fat. Remove from the pan and season.
- Carve the duck into slices, divide between plates, and serve with the pak choi and plum jam, garnished with watercress.
*Stoves sent me Sainsbury's vouchers to cover the cost of ingredients in this recipe but they did not pay me for this blog post. Photography is by the lovely Dave (with the help of two new light soft boxes sent by Santa via my dad). Check out more of Dave's work at dvprry.com*