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Mell and Cyn - Duck Breast

with Spiced Orange Sauce

Prep time: 45 mins    Cook time: 1 hour    Serves: 4


1kg potatoes

pinch saffron

vegetable oil, for deep fryingSpiced Duck

½ cup sugar

½ cup salt

4 x duck breasts, skin lightly scored

2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder

½ tsp salt, extraSmashed Peas

500g baby green peas, blanched

25g butterSauce

80g brown sugar, firmly packed

50ml red wine vinegar

1 cinnamon quill

2 star anise

Finely grated zest of 4 oranges

250ml orange juice

125ml chicken stock

125ml orange flavoured liqueur


  1. To cure duck breast before cooking, combine sugar and salt on a tray. Add duck breasts, turning to coat in mixture. Refrigerate, skin-side up, for 30 minutes.
  2. Cut potatoes into 1cm-thick slices. Using a 2-3cm round cutter, cut out rounds from slices.
  3. Place potato rounds in a saucepan of cold salted water over low heat. Add saffron. Bring to a boil. Drain and allow steam to evaporate.
  4. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Cook potato slices, in batches, until golden and crisp. Drain on absorbent paper. Season with salt.
  5. Cook peas in a saucepan of boiling water until tender. Drain. Return to pan with butter. Season well. Lightly crush with a masher or fork. Cover to keep warm.
  6. Combine Chinese five-spice and extra salt in a bowl. Brush salt and sugar mixture off duck breasts, then add to bowl and toss to coat in five spice mixture.
  7. Preheat oven to 180C.
  8. Place duck in a large deep frying pan, skin side down. Place over a low heat and cook until skin is golden and crisp. Turn and cook for 1 minute. Transfer duck to an oven tray and roast for about 5 minutes or until cooked as desired. Set aside to rest, for 5 minutes.
  9. To make sauce, drain excess fat from pan that duck was cooked in. Add sugar, vinegar, spices and zest. Cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in juice, stock and liqueur. Simmer until reduced and slightly thickened to form a sauce. Season. Stir in any juices from rested, sliced duck. Strain.
  10. 10. Serve sliced duck with peas, potatoes and sauce.