Bilby Bites - the food blog from Bilby Marketing

Roast Duckling with Mushroom Risotto

Michael Caines is a West Country food legend - a 2 star Michelin chef who has an immaculate pedigree when it comes to producing very classy food. He is Executive Chef at both the Gidleigh Park Hotel and sister establishment the Bath Priory, as well as co-ordinating his eponymous restaurants at the Abode Hotels located in Exeter, Manchester, Glasgow and Canterbury. I came across this recipe in a booklet produced by Michael Caines Restaurants many years ago. It appealed because I think that a recipe combining risotto and duck is altogether brilliant. I was slightly concerned with the level of skill needed to prepare this, but I've made it several times and so long as you can crack the risotto, it's a doddle and an impressive dinner party number.

Duck Risotto aerial view

Duck Risotto aerial view

Duck with Wild Mushroom Risotto

Duck with Wild Mushroom Risotto

Ingredients

  • 4 x 200g duck breasts
  • Vegetable oil
  • 170g risotto rice
  • 50g chopped onion
  • 50g extra virgin olive oil
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 1 garlic clove, cut in half and de-stemmed
  • salt & pepper
  • 250g mixed wild mushrooms
  • 150g grated parmesan
  • Chopped chives

Method

  • Firstly, make the risotto using a thick, flat-bottomed pan. Sweat the onion and garlic in the olive oil with a pinch of salt until transparent and soft. Add the 150g of the wild mushrooms - soaked and drained if bought dried - and continue to cook for a further 4 minutes. Add the rice and coat with the oil in the pan, cooking for 2 minutes.
  • Gradually add the stock, a ladle at a time, allowing the rice to soak up the stock completely before adding the next and stirring continually. Continue to add the stock, stirring constantly and cook for 18-20 minutes or until the rice is just al dente. Leave to stand until needed.
  • Score the duck skin several times with a very sharp knife. In a frying pan, add some vegetable oil and heat gently. Season the duck with salt and pepper and place skin side down into the hot oil. Cook the skin until crispy and then turn over.
  • Place the browned duck breasts in a pre-heated oven at 200°C for 10 minutes, then remove to rest on the plate in a warm place. In a saucepan, add a knob of butter and fry the remaining 100g wild mushrooms seasoned with salt & pepper. Add a little water and the juices from the resting duck, then whisk in a little butter to thicken into a sauce.
  • Reheat the risotto for a couple of minutes if necessary. Add the grated parmesan and some chopped chives. Spoon the risotto into the middle of a large plate or bowl. Place the duck breast on top - you can slice these to make it look even more impressive if you like. Spoon the mushrooms around the rice together with some of the sauce. Serve immediately.

Bilby Boost

  • I have used both boned and bone-in duck breasts and either is fine. The boned fillets are obviously easier for guests to enjoy, but it doesn't matter too much.
  • This recipe calls for a lot of wild mushrooms. I have often used far less than the recipe asks for without disaster. I have also substituted some of the wild mushrooms with fresh regular mushrooms in the risotto and this works nicely too, provided you fry them up nicely before you start adding liquid to the pan. You want them to be fried rather than boiled. I would stick to using wild mushrooms for the sauce as this makes it a little more special.