Pan-fried Duck Breast with Creamed Cabbage, Hazelnuts and Caramelised Pear

This recipe was adapted from a restaurant-quality dish by Gordon Ramsay and is made using easily found ingredients.



Duck Breasts:

  • 2 The Duck Farm duck breast fillets
  • 1 garlic clove, left whole with skin on
  • couple thyme sprigs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar


  • half small butternut or sweet potato, diced
  • 85g smoked bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 1 tsp thyme leaf
  • half Savoy cabbage, finely shredded
  • 50ml double cream
  • 100g hazelnut, chopped


  • 1 pear, peeled
  • 2 star anise
  • 5 tbsp icing sugar
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar

Watercress to serve


Duck Breast Fillet:

  1. Lightly score the skin of the duck breasts and season well.
  2. Place a non-stick pan over a medium heat and lay the duck in the pan, skin-side down. Cook until the fat starts to come from the duck, then add the garlic and thyme.
  3. Turn down the heat, continue to cook for 12-15 min, depending on the size of the duck breast, or until the skin is really crisp and brown. As it cooks, pour the fat into a large pan for the cabbage.
  4. Flip the duck over, cook on the flesh side for 3 min until browned, then turn off the heat (this will result in meat that is pink in the middle – cook for a few minutes longer if you like it well done). Leave the duck in the pan to rest.


  1. While the duck cooks, heat 1 tbsp of its fat in the other pan. Add the butternut or sweet potato and bacon and gently fry for 5 min until the butternut/sweet potato has browned and the bacon starts to crisp.
  2. Add the thyme, then the cabbage. Fry the cabbage for 5 min until it starts to wilt.
  3. Add 100ml water and simmer for 5 min until the water has evaporated and the butternut/sweet potato is soft.
  4. Pour in the cream, stir to coat, then add the hazelnuts and heat through.


  1. Cut the pear in half and use a melon baller or teaspoon to scoop out the core. Place a star anise in the cavity of each half.
  2. Place 3 tbsp of the icing sugar in a non-stick pan and heat to make a light amber caramel. Pour in the vinegar to make a sticky syrup. Dust the pear halves heavily with the rest of the icing sugar, then place the pan back on the heat. Cook the pear for 10 min until brown and caramelised all over. (This can be done up to a day ahead and reheated, adding a splash of water.)

To Serve

Slice each duck breast lengthways and dress the watercress in the olive oil and vinegar. Spoon a neat mound of cabbage on one side of each plate. Place a pear half, cut-side up, on the opposite side of the plate and drizzle the sticky sauce around it. Place the outside slices of duck breast on the cabbage and fan the rest of the duck over. Scatter the dressed watercress sprigs around the sides of the plates and serve.

Cooking Tip

How to shred cabbage:For finely shredded cabbage, cut the cabbage in half so you have 2 quarters. Cut the core away following its natural angle. Place the cored cabbage cut-side down and slice into thin shreds.

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