Duck breast and sautéed potatoes

Duck breast and sautéed potatoes is a bit of a classic bistro dish all over France, but particularly down in the South-West, where you are likely to get it served with a simple lettuce ans walnut salad with a vinaigrette dressing.

Duck breasts are easy to cook, slash the skin and rub with salt and then sear them on the hob, skin side down in a very hot pan that you can put into the oven. I use an old blackened cast iron sauté pan for this.

Turn the breasts skin side up and cook in a hot oven for no more than 15 to 20 minutes, depending on their size. I drizzle the skins with some honey as they are roasting in the oven.

The salad is literally a crisp lettuce, I like Cos or Romaine, with roughly chopped walnuts and a simple vinaigrette of olive oil, red wine vinegar and Dijon mustard. You can use walnut oil too.

The potatoes are sautéed in ideally duck fat, but olive oil will do, and with chopped garlic and shallots added during the cooking time and with chopped parsley added at the end of the cooking time.

You really want a good rich red with this and a classic Bordeaux appellation is an ideal partner, maybe a St Emilion or a Médoc.

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