Duck breast, mushrooms and cream sauce.

This is a strange time of year, you never know what the weather will be. So what to cook? Duck is a lovely meat, cooked still pink it can be soft and yielding but with a nice crisped skin. Here is a recipe for March, creamy gravy with mushrooms and spinach. Lovely.


  • 4 duck breasts
  • 2-3 tbsp black peppercorns cracked
  • 50ml/2fl oz cognac
  • 100ml/3½fl oz light gravy
  • 100ml/3½fl oz double cream

For the garnish

  • 110g/4oz shiitake mushrooms
  • 110g/4oz oyster mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 110g/4oz fresh spinach

Preparation method

  1. Trim the duck breasts and lightly score the skin side with a sharp knife. Spread the cracked peppercorns on to the duck breasts, pressing down the pepper into the breasts. Season with salt.
  2. Heat a large pan over a moderate heat, and place the duck breasts in, skin-side down. Let them cook for 5 minutes or until the skin is nicely golden and crisp then turn them over, and fry for about 4 minutes. Remove them from the pan, keeping them warm.
  3. Pour off the fat, and deglaze the pan with the cognac.  Add the gravy  stirring well to scrape the pan. Add the cream and simmer to reduce to sauce consistency.
  4. Fry the mushrooms in the olive oil, and half of the butter. Fry off the spinach in the remaining butter. Mix the two together.
  5. Spoon the spinach and mushroom mixture on to warmed plates. Slice the duck breasts, and arrange on top of the spinach mixture. Surround with the sauce.

About Cooking At Zero Degrees

This is a blog (it also works on an ipad and now has a Facebook page) about what we eat at home. Starters, mains, sauces, side dishes, cocktails and links to local shops. It’s all here. Food is fun, it should be fun to make and fun to eat. For some people making a meal is a chore. If it is then don’t do it; but please, it’s better to eat something, anything, that you make at home from scratch, because prepared, packaged supermarket dinners and food have about as much flavour as the plastic or cardboard package they come in. Food cultivation and husbandry is not just a moral argument. Eggs that don’t come from battery hens do taste better, cattle properly reared have more flavour - and just think about it: at its most simple, if they’re not being pumped full of chemicals then you’re not being pumped full of chemicals. How good is that? If you can buy local, use your neighbourhood shops, you will miss them when they are gone. Most of all, have fun making a meal of it! Oh, and why at zero degrees? Because that’s where we live – in Greenwich, London.
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