Seared Thyme Duck Breasts with Blackcurrant and Cassis Sauce

Seared Thyme Duck Breasts with Blackcurrant and Cassis Sauce
Seared Thyme Duck Breasts with Blackcurrant and Cassis Sauce

Ingredients: MAIN 4 boned duck breast fillets, approximately 200g (7 oz) each 2 level tsp dried thyme 2 tsp soft brown sugar 1 tbsp vegetable oil 2 tbsp Cassis blackcurrant liqueur Salt and ground black pepper

SAUCE 1 tbsp vegetable oil Small knob butter 2 shallots, chopped finely ½ level tsp dried thyme 2 star anise 2 tbsp Blackcurrant conserve 175 g (1¼ cups) fresh blackcurrants 3 tbsp Cassis blackcurrant liqueur ½ tsp corn flour, blended with a little cold water


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6 or for a fan oven: 180°C.

  2. Trim the duck breasts of excess fat and score the skin several times with a sharp knife. Mix together the dried thyme, brown sugar, oil, and Cassis, with some salt and pepper. Spread over the duck, pushing well into the scored skin. Leave to stand for 30 mins to 1 hour.

  3. Heat the oil and butter in a saucepan. Add the shallots and fry gently without coloring.

  4. Add the dried thyme, star anise, blackcurrant conserve, and blackcurrants with 2 tbsp of water. Cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Stir at least once during cooking. Remove from the heat and stir in the Cassis with a little salt and pepper to taste.

  5. Heat the Le Creuset Square Skillet Grill over a medium setting on the hob. When the surface is hot, brush the ribs lightly with vegetable oil. Cook the duck, skin side down for 2 minutes, then turn over and cook the other side for 2 minutes. Remove the Square Skillet Grill from the heat and carefully drain away from the excess fat.

  6. Transfer the Square Skillet Grill to the hot oven. Cook for 10 minutes to produce slightly pink duck and 15 minutes for well done.

  7. Meanwhile, remove the star anise from the sauce and return the pan to heat. Stir in the blended corn flour and bring to a simmer for 2 mins, stirring at all times.

  8. To serve: rest the duck breasts in the Square Skillet Grill for 2 minutes before cutting each one into five thick diagonal slices. Add a small amount of sauce beside each one and serve the rest separately.