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Roasted Duck breast with a risotto of chestnuts, bacon and fennel

Serves 4


4 Duck breasts
300g Risotto rice such as Arborio or carnaroli
1.3 litres of vegetable or chicken stock
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion peeled and finely diced
Salt and pepper
400g Chestnut puree (tinned is available)
8 Diced cooked chestnuts (available in supermarket)
60g Bacon lardons
60g Diced fennel
Few Knobs of butter
2 tbsp mascarpone cheese


  1. Rinse the rice in a sieve under cold running water and drain well. Bring the stock to the boil in a medium saucepan then add the rice. Lower the heat slightly and simmer for 7 minutes until the rice is almost but not quite al dente. Drain immediately reserving the stock and spread the rice on a tray to cool. Refrigerate until needed.
  2. About 15 minutes before you are ready to serve lightly score the skin on the duck breasts with a sharp knife, season the breasts on both sides and lay the breasts skin side down in a frying pan and gradually turn up the heat. Fry for several minutes until most of the fat has rendered and the skin is golden brown. Turn the duck breasts over and finish them off in the oven (200⁰c) until they feel slightly springy when pressed.
  3. Whilst the duck breasts are in the oven, heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onion and fennel with some seasoning and sauté on a medium to low heat for 5 minutes or until softened and translucent but not browned. Add the diced bacon lardons and stir until slightly browned on all sides. Stir in the chestnut puree and cook for a further 5 minutes. Remove the duck breasts from the pan and leave to rest in a warm place while you finish off the risotto.
  4. Bring the reserved stock to the boil in another saucepan
  5. Add the precooked rice to the onion and chestnut mix, then add just enough stock to cover the rice. Quickly bring to a simmer and cook for a few minutes. Taste the rice to see if it is al dente. If not add a little more stock and cook for a few more minutes.
  6. Check the seasoning and stir in the butter, followed by the mascarpone
  7. Spoon the risotto on to warm serving plates
  8. Carve the 4 duck breasts and place one full breast on top of each portion of risotto. Serve and enjoy!