Roast breast and crispy leg of Cornish duck

Tim Pile, Rosevine Serves 4


  • 4 Cornish duck breasts
  • 6 duck legs
  • Duck fat
  • Cornish sea salt and spices and aromatics (eg cinnamon, thyme, garlic, orange zest)
  • 6 carrots
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 70g Cornish butter
  • Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 egg and a splash of milk (egg wash)


1. Rub the duck legs generously with the salt, spices and aromatics.  Leave uncovered in the fridge for 24 hours.

2. Wash the duck legs under cold running water, put in deep roasting tin and cover with duck fat.  Place covered in the oven at 140°C for approximately 2 1/2 hours.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.  Pull the meat from the bones and lay on a double sheet of cling film.  Roll in the cling film to form a ballotine (thick sausage shape – approximately 2 inch diameter).  Twist or tie the ends up tightly and refrigerate to set.

3. Peel and dice the carrots.  Melt the butter in a pan and lightly sweat the carrots, adding the whole cardamom pods.  Add a splash of stock or water and cook until soft.  Season with salt and blend to a smooth purée.

5. Score the skin on the duck breasts and season.  Heat a splash of oil in a metal-handled frying pan.  Place breasts skin side down for 5 minutes.  Place the whole pan in the oven at 190°C for 5 minutes.  Take pan from oven and turn the meat over, leaving off the heat in the pan to finish cooking through.

7. Remove the cling film from the leg ballotine and cut into equal sized portions (approx. 2 inches wide).  Coat each portion with flour, egg and breadcrumbs and lightly fry.

8. Slice the duck breasts and serve each portion with the purée and sliced confit leg.


A mixture of roasted root vegetables and a red wine sauce would suit this dish on a winter evening.