We think everyone can agree that nothing says Christmas quite like a roast. Between grandparents, husbands, wives, and cousins, the race is on to make the best roast dinner of the year—but this recipe, curated by our Michelin Star chef and Masterchef contestant, Paul Hood, is a clear winner.
When it comes to succulent and comforting feasts you can’t go wrong with this winter warmer. Containing festive cabbage, celeriac purée, mushroom gratin, chantenay carrots and red wine jus, this is an undeniably merry meal to get everyone talking.
Serves: 6 People
Top Tip: For the gratin, make it a day before the pressing process. To press, you can use a couple of heavy tins, then refrigerate overnight. Turn out of the tray and cut in to equal sized rectangles ready for heating.
Vegetarian Friendly: No
Vegan Friendly: No
- 6x duck breasts
- 30ml olive oil
- 20g pumpkin seeds
- 20g sunflower seeds
- 10g blue poppy seeds
- 1 x sweetheart cabbage
- 60g honey
- 1 tsp ground all spice
- 1 x pinch cayenne pepper
- 12 chantenay carrots
- 300g celeriac
- 600mlml double cream
- 400ml full fat milk
- 50g finely grated parmesan
- Ground nutmeg x 2 pinch
- 10g butter
- 1 x pinch ground cinnamon
- Chantenay carrot peelings
- ½ onion chopped
- 1 x sprig of thyme
- 1 x clove garlic
- 1 x cinnamon stick
- 1 x star anise
- 2 cloves
- ¼ orange peel
- 5 x chicken wings 170ml red wine
- 500ml liquid beef stock 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 6 x large Maris Piper potatoes
- 12 chestnut mushrooms
- 2 cloves crushed garlic
- 8 sprigs thyme
- 300ml double cream
- 15g parmesan
- Line a small, deep baking tray with baking paper.
- Bring the double cream to the boil, finely chop the thyme and crush the garlic, then add this to the cream.
- Turn down the heat to simmer to infuse for around 5 minutes.
- Pass off the cream ensuring no bits, then add the parmesan and mix through. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to your taste.
- Finely chop the mushrooms, then sear them off in a very hot pan for around 1 minute.
- Place the mushrooms on to kitchen roll to discard any unwanted moisture.
Assembling The Gratin
- Peel, then thinly slice, the potatoes.
- You can begin to assemble the layers in the dish by arranging half of the sliced potatoes neatly until your tray is covered.
- Season this layer with salt and pepper, then pour on half of the cream mixture and work with a spoon until the whole area is covered with the cream. (Don’t make it wet, just covered).
- Now for the middle layer, add all of the seared mushrooms and divide evenly over the bottom layer.
- Season this layer lightly with salt and pepper.
- Repeat the process with the last of the potatoes for the top layer, adding the remaining cream mixture and dividing until evenly coated.
- Put a piece of parchment paper on top of the gratin, cut to the size of the surface, and cover the tray with kitchen foil.
- Cook the gratin in an oven set to 180degrees for 1 hour.
- Once cooked, remove the foil and place in a tray the same size as one used to press the potatoes overnight.
- Line a small tray with a sheet of baking paper.
- Finely grate the parmesan and evenly spread over the tray, adding the poppy seeds, scattering them evenly over the cheese.
- Cook the parmesan in an oven set to 190 degrees for 6 minutes until lightly golden, then once cool chop into a textured crumb ready to put on top of the mushroom gratin.
- Trim the duck, removing any unwanted sinew and fat.
- Score the skin with a sharp knife and season with salt on both sides.
- On the stove, heat a non-stick pan until very hot, then place the duck breasts in the pan and dry with no oil (the duck will release enough fat|).
- When cooking, place the skin side down and sear for around 3 minutes until the fat has rendered down nicely.
- Baste the duck a little with the released fat from the skin, then put it into an oven set to 190 degrees for 5 minutes.
- Baste the duck again, and return the pan to the oven for a further 4 minutes.
- Remove the duck from the pan and rest the meat for 6 minutes.
- With the fat and cooking juices from the pan, add the 30 grams of honey and a pinch of ground cinnamon.
- Mix it into a sticky glaze ready to brush the duck skin, then top with the toasted seeds.
- Lightly toast the pumpkin and sunflower seeds in an oven set to 190 degrees for 3 minutes
- Top the duck breasts when plating.
- Peel and finely dice 300g of the celeriac.
- Place it in a pot, and cover with the 300ml double cream and the full fat milk.
- Bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 40 minutes until liquids have reduced, and celeriac is nice and soft to touch.
- Blend this mixture in a food processor until silky smooth. Season to taste, ready for plating.
- Peel the 12 carrots and cook in a pan of boiling salted water for 12 minutes.
- Remove the carrots from the pan and add 10g butter and 1 tbsp honey.
- Lastly, glaze the carrots ready for plating.
- Cut the sweetheart cabbage in half down the middle.
- In a hot, non-stick, pan add the olive oil and seal the flat side of the cabbage until lightly golden.
- Turn the cabbage over and add the honey, all spice, and cayenne.
- Season with salt, then coat the cabbage and cover it with foil.
- Cook your cabbage in the oven set to 190 degrees for 12 minutes.
- Remove from the pan and trim each half in to 3 pieces, ready for plating
- In a hot pot combine 1 tbsp of oil, and the chicken wings.
- Seal the chidden until it’s nice and dark, then add in the chopped onion, carrot peel, garlic and thyme, and sweat off for 4 minutes.
- Add in the red wine, and let it simmer until you’ve reduced the volume of the liquid by half.
- Add in the cinnamon stick, star anise and cloves, followed by the beef stock, then bring it to the boil.
- Turn the stock down to a medium simmer and reduce for around 40 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.
- Pass off through a fine sieve and add the red wine vinegar.
- Your comforting Christmas feast is now ready to eat! It’ll be sure to please everyone gathered around the table.
“I’m not a big fan of turkey and I just love duck. This is a festive favorite recipe of mine, easy to follow at home to create a dish with impact for the Christmas table. No need for fancy equipment, just simple cookery done with love and care with a great end result. Enjoy!”
Recipe by: Paul Hood, Michelin Star chef (as seen on Masterchef 2020).