- 4 duck breasts, boned and with skin on
- 4 pounds (1.8 kg) coarse sea salt or kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 4 ounces (100g) flour
- 5 egg whites
- 3 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
- kitchen string
Pre-heat oven to 450F/230C. Line an ovenproof dish large enough to take the breasts with aluminum foil and lightly oil it.
Trim any fat off the breasts and pat dry, but leave the layer of fat between the skin and the meat. Score the skin every inch (2.5 cm) with the point of a sharp knife without penetrating the flesh. Place skin side down in a dry heavy-bottomed frying pan and fry over medium heat till the skin is crisp. Pour off the fat, roll the breasts skin side out into a cylinder and tie with string.
In a large clean mixing bowl incorporate the salt, egg whites, flour, thyme and generous grinds of pepper. Spread half over the lined ovenproof dish. Place the breasts on top and cover with the remaining salt mixture. Press it well around each breast to create a casing.
Roast for 18 minutes then remove and allow to rest on a rack for 10 more then set on a warm serving dish with a heavy knife or kitchen hammer alongside. Crack the salt crust, remove each breast, cut the string and brush off any clinging salt.
Serve with a green salad and a sauce of blackcurrants.
Blackcurrant sauce to eat with duck
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 large shallots peeled and finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic peeled and finely chopped
- 1/4 cup brandy
- 1/2 cup blackcurrant jam or jelly
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Melt the butter in a medium size heavy saucepan over medium heat.
Add the shallots and garlic and saute until transparent, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Stir in the brandy, stock, blackcurrant preserves and mustard. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.