Patricia Teahan must be one of the youngest Head Chefs in the country. She works at Carrig Country House in County Kerry, an oasis of calm on The Ring of Kerry and a mere skip and a hop to the Wild Atlantic Way. She is a rarity in the chef world in that she is a master of both savoury and sweet dishes. Here she showcases local Ballinskelligs duck but any good quality Irish duck will do this dish justice.
750g carrots, peeled and chopped into small chunks
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
Salt and black pepper
30g unsalted butter
1 shallot, peeled and sliced
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
1 teaspoon brown sugar
3 sprigs of thyme
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon juniper berries
250ml gin (Patricia uses local Dingle Distillery Gin)
125ml veal or chicken stock
4 Ballinskelligs duck breasts (skin scored with sharp knife)
50g unsalted butter
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Place the carrots and cumin in a saucepan, just cover with
water, add a pinch of salt and cook until tender. Drain well, place in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add the butter and season. Keep warm.
2. Place the shallot and carrot in a saucepan with a spoon of olive oil and cook until golden. Add the sugar, thyme, bay leaf, juniper berries and gin. Reduce by a third. Add the veal stock and reduce until syrupy. Strain and season. Keep the sauce warm.
3. Place a non-stick pan with an oven-proof handle on high heat and when it is hot, add the duck breasts, skin-side down. Place the pan in the oven. Cook for 6 minutes on the skin side. Turn the duck over and cook for a further 4 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to rest (it will be medium-rare). While the duck is resting, wilt the spinach in a saucepan with the butter. Season with salt and black pepper.
4. To serve: slice the duck breast, sit it on a smear of carrot and cumin purée, dot the spinach on the plate, pour the Dingle Gin jus into shot glasses and serve.
Carrig Country House
Carrig Country House is the perfect elegant hideaway in County Kerry and offers exceptional peace and tranquillity. It has 16 beautifully-appointed bedrooms, elegant drawing rooms in which to relax and, of course, the multiple award-winning Lakeside Restaurant, overlooking Caragh Lake, where Patricia Teahan is head chef. carrighouse.com
This recipe featured in the Kerry Food Story, a directory and recipe book about the food of the Kerry region.
Photograph © Taste Kerry