Duck breast, sweet potato and brown sugar purée, pomegranate gastrique

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Preparation info

  • Serves 8

    main course portions
    • Difficulty


Appears in

Mile 8: A book about cooking

Mile 8

By David Higgs

Published 2018

  • About

Hanging the duck over the fire for hours is tricky, as it’s difficult to control the temperature. But as long as you keep an eye on it, it gives amazing flavour and smoky crispy skin.


Duck breast

  • 4 duck carcasses (legs removed and reserved for one of the duck leg recipes)

Sweet potato purée

  • 150 g purple skin sweet potato
  • 10 g brown sugar
  • 40 g butter
  • 10 g grated ginger

Confit celeriac

  • 8 celeriac bulbs – peeled
  • 400 g duck fat
  • 50 g butter

Pomegranate gastrique

  • 20 g sugar
  • 30 ml water
  • 15 ml white wine vinegar
  • 200 ml pomegranate juice
  • 400 ml chicken stock
  • 30 g butter – room temperature
  • 30 ml pomegranate pearls

Pickled chanterelles

  • 8 hazelnuts, thinly shaved on a truffle slicer – to garnish
  • lemon thyme leaves – to garnish


Remove from the fridge and hang the ducks over the grill for 7 hours. This will render the fat and cook the meat really slowly. Portion the 8 duck breasts (1 per serving) from the carcass and place the breasts skin side down on the grill over warm coals for 5 minutes to render the skin even more. Then turn over and quickly finish the cooking process. This process can also be done in a pan very slowly to render the fat until crisp and then flipping it onto the flesh side and finishing to the desired temperature.

Wash the sweet potatoes and wrap individually in foil. Place in a baking tray and bake at 180°C for 40–50 minutes until soft. Once cooked, scoop the flesh from the skin, place into a Thermomix jug and add the remaining ingredients. Blend while hot to dissolve the sugar and until smooth, and transfer from the blender into a piping bag and reserve.

Use an apple corer to cut 32 cylinders from the peeled celeriac bulbs. Place the celeriac cylinders in a vacuum bag with the duck fat and vacuum seal. Sous vide at 89°C for 45 minutes, until tender. Alternatively, roast the cylinders in the oven with butter until tender. In a pan, melt the butter and add the celeriac cylinders to caramelise for serving.

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar and water and cook until a syrup starts to form. Stir in the vinegar and pomegranate juice and simmer for 5 minutes to thicken slightly. Add the chicken stock and reduce by half – the liquid should become a thick sticky consistency. Whisk in the butter until fully incorporated and then stir in the pomegranate pearls.

Rinse the mushrooms gently under running water and brush to remove remaining soil. Pat dry and with a small hooked knife, carefully scrape away the skin on the base of the mushroom. Grill the mushrooms and place into the à la Grecque pickle while hot. Allow the liquid to cool and then refrigerate overnight before using.

To assemble, arrange as you like or as per the photo. Use 1 duck breast with 6 dots (11 g) sweet potato purée, 4 celeriac cylinders, 10 ml pomegranate gastrique and 5 chanterelle quarters, and finish with a shaved hazelnut and some lemon thyme leaves.

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