Duck with Mango Salad

Emma mentioned that there would possibly be guest bloggers… hello! I’m one of them! Important things first: I love food, but I’m not hugely food talented. I’m the lucky recipient of many of Emma’s experiments (I love turning up at a pub to be greeted by a freshly bottled jar of home-made marmalade) but when I’m cooking for myself and for N, things tend to be a bit simpler: bolognese, lasagna, shepherd’s pie (I’m good with mince). I can just about manage a roast if I concentrate hard, and I’m good at making packet brownies. But a few weeks ago while attempting to make cupcakes, I ended up making pancakes. This is just to warn you that, from me, you will be getting a laypersons view on food, although Emma is still working on teaching me new skills.

It’s getting to the end of the month, we’ve not reached pay-day yet, and we’re looking to use up what’s left in the cupboard. Fortunately we realised the other day that we had two duck breasts lurking in the freezer and so we thought we would try a recipe cut out from a magazine a little while ago, adapted slightly as we went: Duck breast with mango & watercress salad…it’s the kind of recipe that I like: not too complicated.

Duck breastsTake the two duck breasts, and score the skin. Rub the zest of a lime over the skin. Pop into a non-stick frying pan on a low heat for 8-10 minutes (or until the skin starts getting crispy), flip over onto the other side and finish cooking, this now depends on how well done you like your duck: we gave it about 3 or 4 minutes, plus a smidge extra on the side to leave it fairly pink and juicy inside (leave it to rest on some kitchen towel for a few minutes to help get rid of some of the fat that is always a problem with duck).

On the side: a small mango cut into sticks, a handful of watercress and a dressing made from 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp sesame oil, the juice of the lime, and 1/2 tbsp golden caster sugar (the original called for 1 tbsp, which for me made this dressing too sweet).

At the end, you’re supposed to serve with 2 tsp of toasted sesame seeds, but it would have been a miracle for us to follow a recipe correctly, and we forgot to toast the sesame seeds. It still worked though.

Duck, Watercress, Mango & ChipsYou could leave it here, and it would make a nice light meal. But I have to say that I’m a sucker for carbs, so we had a portion of fries on the side, which worked well too!

It goes without saying that the better your ingredients, the better the flavour, and that goes for this as much as everything else… our mango didn’t have the largest amount of flavour which meant that this meal was good, but wasn’t as good as it could have been, so if you make it be sure your mango is juicy and ripe.


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