Oscars night Duck breast and Vegetable Fricassee


Duck Breast, Vegetable Fricassee, Pomegranate

It’s Oscars night and the Irish are well represented. Will we see Saoirse Ronan receive the Best Actress award for Brooklyn, well deserved, I enjoyed this movie. Will Michael Fassbender bag the Best Actor gong for Steve Jobs, a labored script in this one I thought. Or perhaps we will see Lenny Abrahamson winning Best Director and Emma Donoghue getting Best Adapted Screen-play for Room, a truly great movie.  Whatever the outcome, will it herald a new dawn in Irish cinema with a total of nine nominations?

I love going to the movies. It’s a form of entertainment that cannot be replicated, no matter how big your home TV and sound system is. A ritualistic experience if you will. Some films just have to be seen at a good theatre for full effect. Watching “Gravity” on your I-pad is a bit of a non event.

Having worked on the soundtracks for a few movies myself (The Actors, Parked, Dollhouse, Tara Road ) it’s a job I always relish. With a storyline and picture to compliment, the music and sound-design act as a means to heighten the drama within. A totally different beast to writing music from imagination. Having released four albums to date, some of these tunes and songs have been chosen by directors or music supervisors for inclusion in various movies and trailers. One such case was when Woody Allen and his team chose to use the Autamata song “Postscript” in the trailer for “Match Point”, it starred Scarlett Johansson and Jonathan Rhys Meyers. It was a great buzz to hear the song I wrote with Carol Keogh blasting out as these stars walked up the red carpet to receive their golden globes.



This dish takes some time but is well worth the effort. Duck breast with a crispy skin, slightly pink meat and soft buttery vegetables is the goal. I like to use plump Barbary Duck breasts for this dish.

Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. Score the duck breast in a criss-cross pattern. Place the duck breast into a cold pan, skin-side down, and cook on a high heat for five minutes. Strain off and discard the fat (keep this for some duck fat roasted potatoes). Cook for a further two minutes, then place into the preheated oven for five minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to rest. If the skin is not crisp enough, place under a hot grill for a few minutes.

Wash all the vegetables. Bring the butter and 200ml of water to the boil in a saucepan. Reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering. Add the Carrots, Potato and Turnip (chopped into equal sizes). Simmer for 3-4 minutes. Chop the Asparagus to a similar length as the Mangetout. Add to the pot and cook until all of the vegetables are tender ( 3/4 minutes ). Season with Salt and Pepper to taste.

Serve the duck with the vegetables and some pomegranate seeds to garnish. Spoon some of the remaining reduced sauce, from the cooked vegetables pot, over the top.


  • 2 Barbary Duck Breasts
  • Asparagus
  • Carrots
  • Potato
  • Mangetout
  • Turnip
  • 50g Butter
  • Pomegranate
  • Dried Oregano
  • Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper


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