Why not plump for Duck as your seasonal bird this year? Serve with a pomegranate and chestnut Sauce for a delicious alternative to the traditional Christmas dinner
- 4 duck breasts, skin scored, rubbed with salt
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and squashed
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- 1 small onion, peeled and finely sliced
- 100g (3½oz) peeled, cooked chestnuts (half a pack)
- 2 tablespoons sherry
- 200ml (7fl oz) chicken stock
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 100g (3½oz) pomegranate seeds, from 1 pomegranate
Set the oven Gas Mark 4 or 180°C. Put a roasting tin in the oven to heat up. Heat a frying pan, add the duck, skin-side down, and cook over a medium heat for about 5 minutes to colour the skin dark brown. Put meat in the hot tin, skin-side up, add garlic and thyme, and spoon in 2 tablespoons of the hot duck fat. Pour rest of fat into a small pot and set aside.
Cook the duck breasts for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, transfer to a warm plate, cover loosely with foil and leave to rest for 10-15 minutes while you make the sauce.
Heat a frying pan containing the fat and juices from the roasting tin. Add the onion and the crushed, roasted garlic and cook for 10 minutes, until browning. Add chestnuts, then sherry and stock. Bring to the boil and reduce for about 5 minutes, until the sauce thickens. Season.
Slice the meat thinly and divide between 4 hot plates, serving with roasted wedges of butternut squash or sweet potato and fine green beans. Reheat the sauce, add the pomegranate seeds, then spoon over the duck.
Choose Pomegranates that are heavy for their size, plump and rounded.