2 Jan 2011

Duck Wellington

I saw this in a Sainsbury's magazine a while ago and thought it sounded like the perfect meal for my boyfriend and I, but it also looked really complicated, time consuming and difficult to make. So I put if off about a thousand times and finally got round to actually attempting it last night. I was surprised by how easy it was! It was delicious too. The duck was perfectly pink in the middle, the butternut squash was just the right amount of sweetness and so buttery and smooth, and most importantly, the pastry was still crisp!

Appologies for the poor photo, I was in too much of a hurry to serve and eat!

Basically this is a duck breast topped with mashed butternut squash, flavoured with sweet jam, a layer of spinach and all wrapped in puff pastry. Sounds simple enough really, but the instructions took almost a full page in small print so I assumed it would be complicated and fiddly!

The original recipe is to serve 8 with 1 duck breast per serving. I made just 2 portions using 1 giant duck breast. It can be frozen so when I make it again I will make extras to freeze. If you are using 1 duck breast per person the recipe is exactly the same but each duck breast has it's own parcel.

Serves 2
200g butternut squash, peeled/chopped into small cubes
2 regular or 1 large duck breast
2 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder
Oil of your choice for frying
10g butter
1/2 tbsp jam - I used lingonberry but recipe suggests damson or plum
100g baby spinach
250g puff pastry
flour for dusting
1 egg, beaten
sea salt and black pepper

Lightly score the duck breast(s) on either side and rub in some sea salt and Chinese 5 spice powder
Heat a little oil and fry the duck on medium-high for around 2 minutes each side
Remove from heat and set aside to cool

Add the butter to a pan, once melted add the butternut squash - use a pan large enough to allow for a single layer of the squash
Cook on a medium heat for 10 minutes
Add a little water, just about 25ml - I used 35ml (had a pub measure to hand!) and the squash came out a little too wet
Cook for a further 10-15 minutes until the squahs us soft enough to mash and the water has been absorbed
Remove from the heat and stir in the jam
Mash with a fork or potato masher
Season and leave to cool

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil
Add spinach then remove right away, drain and place in ice cold water
Squeeze the cooled leaves in your hands to remove excess water

Roll out your pastry to around 3mm thick - one or two rectangles depending on number of duck breasts
Brush the edges of the pastry with the beaten egg
Place a duck breast in the centre of the pastry, top with butternut squash mix then the spinach
Lift over the edges of the pastry to make into a parcel and seal the egdes
Brush all over with the egg

You can freeze the parcels - freeze on non-stick trays wrapped loosely in cling film. When you want to use them de-frost for 2-3 hours at room temperature.

To cook, pre-heat oven to 200C, 180C fan, gas 6
Bake for 20-25 minutes

There is also a sauce but I wasn't too impressed by it and the texture was horrible. Next time I'll be using Delia Smith's Cherry Sauce which is perfect with duck, or ham actually.

  • 75g dried sour cherries (Sainsbury’s)
  • 200ml red wine
  • 250g morello cherry conserve (Waitrose own or Tiptree)
  • fresh watercress, to garnish
Start off by soaking the dried cherries in the red wine for 15 minutes, then combine the conserve with the soaked cherries and red wine in a saucepan, and simmer gently without a lid for 20 minutes. Yes, it really is that simple.


  1. Yum sounds tasty, maybe a little pink for me but I bet it was delish x x

  2. I love cooking with my friends. I followed your blog, please follow mine

  3. This looks delicious, I love duck so much! Just found your blog through a friends and am now following you!

    The doll on fashion

  4. Oh that looks lush!

    Adele @ Mammy Made


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