BABY, don’t be so melondramatic

I know the first question that came into your mind when you saw the picture.

“Was the watermelon cooked in the duck fat?”

I am thrilled to announce that yes, it is indeed fried in duck fat.

Although it looks a bit fancy, duck breast with burnt watermelon and a soy & stout dressing is simple to assemble. The dressing is a handy recipe in itself, and can be used with all sorts of Asian dishes.

[Delilah Montagu – BABY, SME, 2021]

Shopping list (serves 4)
Stout & soy dressing:
Medium white onion (finely diced) x 1
Garlic cloves (diced) x 2
Fresh ginger (minced) x 2 tsp
Soy sauce x 25ml
Stout x 250ml
Treacle x 1 tbsp
Chicken stock x 200ml

Watermelon (cubed) x 300g
Duck breast x 2
Pink Peppercorns x 1 tbsp

Cove the skin of the duck breasts with salt and leave for at least a couple of hours, preferably overnight in the fridge.

Remove from the fridge and wash off the salt, before patting them dry with some kitchen roll.

To make the dressing, start by frying off the onion, ginger and garlic in a glug of oil for 10 minutes, over a medium heat. Add the stout and reduce over a high heat. After five minutes you can add the treacle, soy sauce and chicken stock.

Over a medium heat, keep simmering for 30 minutes. Once ready, it should have a molasses-like consistency. Sieve and set aside.

Cook the duck by placing the breasts skin-side down in a large frying pan. Gently bring the heat up to medium for eight minutes, until the skin is golden and crispy. Flip over the breasts and cook for a further two and a half minutes.

Remove and allow to rest.

At the same time, and into the same pan, add the watermelon and pink peppercorns.

Cook over a high heat with a sprinkle of salt for no more than five minutes, turning the cubes of melon regularly.

Slice and serve half a breast with the burnt watermelon, peppercorns and dressing.



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