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Barbary Duck with Peaches

2 150 g; (5oz) barbary duck breast
2 lg Yellow peaches; unskinned and halved with the stones removed
400 ml Veal stock; (14fl oz)
85 g Butter; (3oz)
6 Shallots; sliced
1 ts Honey
1/2 ts Five spice powder
1 ts Sherry vinegar
200 ml Ruby port; (7fl oz)
100 ml Madeira; (3 1/2fl oz)
1 ts Icing sugar
150 g Baby spinach leaves; (5oz)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Pre-heat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas mark 7


Have ready the veal stock and set aside. Heat one third of the butter in a saucepan and sauté the shallots with the honey and the five spice powder until softened and caramelized, about 7 minutes. Add the vinegar and cook until evaporated. Pour in the port and madeira and boil until the liquid is syrupy and has reduced by about two thirds. Add the veal stock and boil for about 15 minutes or until reduced by a half, then strain through a fine sieve, rubbing gently with the back of a ladle. Season this sauce and set aside.


To glaze the peaches, sprinkle with the remainder of the five spice powder and the icing sugar. Heat another third of the butter in a non-stick frying pan and gently sauté the peaches, colouring them all over. Take care not to overcook them. Set aside and reserve the pan juices in a warm place.


When you are ready to cook the duck, score the fatty skin of the breast: this ensures that the skin will become crispy when cooked. Without using any oil, heat a non-stick or heavy based frying pan until quite hot. Add the duck breasts. skin side down, and cook for about 3 minutes, colouring all over. In this way the duck will make it's own fat.


Cover the breast with a butter paper or a piece of buttered greaseproof paper and cook in the oven for about 7-8 minutes, turning once or twice. Remove and allow to rest for 3 minutes before slicing each breast into 8 slices.


While the duck is resting, cook the spinach in a little water and the remaining butter for one minute or until just wilted. Drain well, squeezing out lightly in a clean tea towel or kitchen paper towels.


Place a spinach mound in the centre of each warmed plate and arrange the sliced duck over and around each to make a pyramid shape. Cut each peach half in 4 and arrange on and around the duck. Trickle over the reserved pan juices. Return the sauce to the boil, check the seasoning and spoon it over and around the meat. Garnish with candied orange peel.


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