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Spiced Duck Breast

Spiced Duck Breast

Franschhoek chef Jean Pierre Smith’s reputation is on the rise at Lust Bistro and Bakery. Try his spiced duck breast with marinated wild mushrooms, pomegranate glaze and black rice…

“I cannot explain the way my mind works – that is, on those rare occasions that it does…work – I mean. We knew that duck breast was an item for our winter menu….but the side dishes were as much a mystery to me as let’s say splitting a nuclear atom. *enter 1 x bottle of Vrede & Lust Artisan Cabernet Franc, 1 x interesting dry-goods supplier price list, et voila!”

Spiced Duck Breast

Franschhoek chef Jean Pierre Smith’s reputation is on the rise at Lust Bistro and Bakery. Try his Spiced duck breast with marinated wild mushrooms, pomegranate glaze and black rice... Recipes Spiced Duck Breast European Print This
Serves: 2
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )


  • 4 medium duck breasts
  • 1 cup black rice
  • Chinese 5-spice mix
  • This is a dry-mix that you can keep handy in the pantry for when you need it. Alternatively you can also purchase decent quality mixtures on the supermarket shelf.
  • 3tbsp star anise
  • 2 cinnamon scrolls
  • 1tsp Szechuan pepper
  • 5 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • Optional: small knob of dried ginger root (do not toast)
  • Pomegranate glaze
  • If you are going to do this, make enough to last a while. Just keep refrigerated. Fantastic with pork belly, salads, or anything that you can dream up. (I’ve served this on Bourbon Vanilla Ice Cream before…and it worked like a charm).
  • 1L pure pomegranate juice
  • 125g Agave syrup
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • Reduce over low heat by 2 thirds.
  • Marinated Mushrooms
  • You are able to make these anytime you feel like it. They have a long shelf-life, and really only tastes best after 3 days.
  • 500g water
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 15ml lemon juice
  • 250g wild mushrooms (brown- and white shimeji mushrooms are great for presentation, but also add some sliced King oyster- and Shiitake mushrooms for taste)
  • 5 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly
  • 30ml raspberry vinegar
  • 75ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Bay leaf, orange zest, fresh thyme, caraway and juniper berries (or your own concoction)


  1. For the Chinese 5-spice mix: Toast gently, separately. Break cinnamon scrolls into smaller pieces and blend in a spice / coffee grinder till fine.
  2. How to cook the black rice: It is not difficult at all – you just need to be patient. The result is a nutty flavoured, soft, deep-purple coloured rice. You can pimp this with the addition of sautéed vegetables. One cup of rice will be enough for 4 people. Rinse the rice under cold running water for approximately 5 minutes to remove the surface starches. Strain and cover with fresh cold water, leaving the rice in this water overnight. (yes, I know – sounds tedious – but necessary). Strain the rice once more and combine with 2 cups of fresh water and 1 tsp salt in a heavy based pot. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat. Cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes (or until all the water has been absorbed) Remove from heat, and leave for 15 minutes before fluffing with a fork. (do NOT open the lid in this 15 minutes).
  3. For the marinated mushrooms: Combine water, sugar, salt and lemon juice in a pot and bring to the boil. Add the mushrooms to the boiling water, reduce heat and poach for approx. 5-6 minutes. Strain – BUT reserve half of the liquid. Add the garlic, vinegar, olive oil, herbs and spices to the reserved poaching liquid. Place the mushrooms in a sterilised jar and cover with poaching liquid. Seal with lid. Once the bottle has reached room temperature, place in fridge and use after 3 days.
  4. For the duck: Using a sharp knife, score the skin of each duck breast in a criss-cross pattern. Rub each breast with the 5-spice mix and place in a bowl. Cover with cling-film and leave to marinate for 1 hour. Pre-heat oven to 200ºC. Pre-heat a heavy based sauce-pan (but not as hot as you would for meat) and place duck skin side down in the pan (no oil needed). Cook gently for approx. 4-5 minutes (this is to render the fat). Turn up heat and flip the breast, meat side down. Sear for 2 minutes. Glaze each breast (skin side) with a tablespoon of pomegranate molasses. Finish in oven for 3-4 minutes. Let the duck rest for a couple of minutes before slicing it. Duck breast is best served pink – overcooking will make it tough.
  5. Serve with black rice and marinated wild mushrooms.


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