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Duck breast with roasted plums, ginger and Szechuan pepper

Ripe, juicy plums are roasted alongside duck breast to bring both sharp acidity that cuts through the fat, and a sweetness that accentuates the rich meat. Duck nearly always falls prey to the Asian treatment, as it takes on those flavours so well, but here I have taken a few subtle elements to create something a little more refined. Ginger goes particularly well with plums so, using that as a starting point, I have added a hint of bay (a hugely underused flavour) from the wonderful bay trees in my garden along with the fiery edge of Szechuan peppercorns. If you aren’t familiar with Szechuan pepper, it has the effect of numbing the tongue rather than filling the mouth with the burning heat of chilli. It also carries with it a touch of sweetness that rounds off this elegant dish perfectly.

Prep Time

    •    Prep time: 5 minutes
    •    Cook time: 25 minutes
    •    Yield: Serves 2


    •    2 duck breasts
    •    6 ripe plums, halved
    •    2 bay leaf
    •    2 inches ginger, sliced
    •    1 tbsp Szechuan peppercorns, lightly crushed
    •    Flaked sea salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C.
  2. Rub a little salt and Szechuan pepper over the skin of the duck.
  3. Place the duck skin down in the frying pan over a medium heat.
  4. Press down on the duck to keep all that lovely fat in contact with the pan.
  5. Cook for about 5 minutes, with a brief turn to sear the underside.
  6. Place the duck breasts in a roasting dish, with the ginger and bay leaf.
  7. Add the plums to the roasting, cut side up.
  8. Season all with a touch more salt and the rest of the Szechuan pepper.
  9. Roast for 20 minutes until the duck is slightly pink (adjust according to taste).
  10. When ready, set aside to rest for a minutes.
  11. Slice the breasts and serve with the plums and the pan juices.
  12. A raw spinach leaf salad would go particularly well with this dish.

Suggested variations:

  • As with all meat, try to buy the best quality that you can afford and from a source that you trust and where the animals have been ethically treated. Primal Meats is an fantastic online meat store which provides a variety of delicious meats including duck!

This great family recipe is thanks to Paleo Diet and Fitness at


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