Delectable Breast of Duck with Black Cabbage

Restaurant FortyOne - part of stylish Residence on Dublin's St Stephen's Green - has made quite a splash in culinary circles of late. Our food editor, Lizzie Gore-Grimes, went along?to interview head chef (and avid vegetable grower) Graham Neville - and came away with his delicious recipe for juicy duck breast with cavolo nero... Pick up the September-October issue, on shelves now, for'more from Graham?(including another exclusive'recipe for sumptuous scallops).

Breast of duck, black cabbage, heirloom beetroot, beech mushrooms and thyme jus
Serves 4

* 15 leaves cavolo nero (black cabbage)
* 2 tsp butter
* 6 medium new-season beetroot (candy, golden or red)
* olive oil
* 550g beech or shiitake mushrooms
* a splash of brandy
* 4 duck breasts
* honey
* salt and pepper
* 240ml stock (veal, chicken or duck)
* bunch of fresh thyme

Graham Neville, head chef at Restaurant FortyOne Graham Neville, head chef at Restaurant FortyOne

1 Score the duck breasts on the fat side and leave in the fridge.
2 Cut the leaves of the cavolo nero away from the stalk; wash and set aside.
3 Wash the beetroot and place in a saucepan of water with 20g salt per litre of water. Bring the water up to boil, then reduce to a simmer for 40 minutes or until a knife will slide through the beetroot easily. Cut into uniform size and keep warm. Set aside.
4 Place another pot of water on to boil with 20g salt per litre of water and cook the black cabbage until tender. Remove from the pot discarding extra water. Place in a little saucepan with a little butter and season. Set aside and keep warm.
5 Using either beech or shiitake mushrooms, cut to even size and cook in a pan with a little olive oil. Season and flamb? with brandy. Again, keep warm and set aside.
6 Place the duck fat side down in a pan on a low heat and render the fat down so there is no fat left and the skin is nice and crispy whilst keeping the meat nice and pink (approximately 20 minutes). 7 When the duck fat is rendered out, spoon some honey over the skin, season with salt and pepper, and roast in a hot oven for 3 minutes. Remove and allow to rest.
8 While the duck is cooking, you can make the sauce. Place the stock in a pan over a medium heat and cook out until the liquid is reduced (in volume) by half. Then place the thyme in the hot sauce to infuse for 20 minutes or so ??this will give you a very light thyme-scented jus. Remove the thyme before serving. If you require a bit'more thickness or body, use a little cornflower to thicken the sauce.
9 When serving, slice the duck as thinly as possible and lay slices over each other in a nice presentation. Place the black cabbage on the plate, with the duck on top of the cabbage, spoon the beech mushrooms around and the beetroot also. Spoon on the sauce and enjoy.

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