A freezer catastrophe meant that we had to quickly find ways of using up the entire thawed-out contents of the freezer. This recipe, adapted from one originally found on Marmiton, was a way of using up some duck breasts and a packet of puff pastry. I was surprised at how good it was — a cheaper alternative to mini beef Wellingtons.
The original recipe had foie gras in the filling, so if you have any, you can use it, but I found it worked just fine with a dollop of crème fraîche. The duck breasts you can buy here are huge, so we normally eat just one between us.
1 duck breast
1 packet puff pastry
1 medium onion
200 g mushrooms
2 tbs crème fraîche, or some scraps of foie gras
salt and pepper
Remove the fat from the duck breast and quickly brown it on both sides in the olive oil. Don’t cook it through, or it will be overcooked later. Set aside to cool completely.
Finely chop the onion and mushrooms. Cook the onions gently in the pan you fried the duck in, till they are starting to soften. Then add the mushrooms, raise the heat, and cook, stirring occasionally, till the liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper, and stir in the cream. Set aside to cool — everything must be cold before you wrap it in pastry, unless you want the pastry to slither off in the oven.
Preheat the oven to 220 C. Roll out the pastry as thinly as you can, and cut the duck breast in half. Cut out four squares large enough to enclose the duck breast half. Put one square on a baking tray, spread with some of the mushroom mixture, put the half duck breast on top, wet the edges, and cover with another square, sealing carefully. Repeat with the other half. Cut a couple of slits to let steam escape, and then brush with beaten egg. Bake for about 20 minutes, till the pastry is golden.