2 x Creedy Carver duck breasts
1 x thyme sprig
1 x star anise
For the plum sauce
1 x shallot, finely chopped
1 x tbsp olive oil
250g dark red plums, halved, stoned and cut into small wedges
50g demerara sugar
50ml red wine
300ml beef stock
For the mashed potatoes
450g Maris piper potatoes
50ml double cream
Knob of butter
Salt/pepper if preferred
Preheat the oven to 180C/ 160C fan/gas 4
Creamed potatoes, peel and quarter 450g Maris Piper potatoes, and boil in water for 20-25 mins until cooked.
In the meantime, for the sauce, fry the shallot in the oil for 5 mins or until softened but not coloured. Add the plums and sugar, stirring for a few mins until the sugar has dissolved. Next add the red wine and stock, then simmer for about 15 mins, stirring occasionally, until softened and slightly thickened. Keep warm or leave at room temperature for up to a day before reheating to serve.
Meanwhile, score the skin of the duck breasts with a sharp knife and season well with salt and pepper. Heat a non-stick frying pan and place the duck breasts in, skin-side down. Fry for 6-7 mins, then turn and add the thyme, star anise and butter. Allowing the butter to melt, basting the duck with the flavoursome juices, then transfer everything to a small roasting tin and finish in the oven for 5-6 mins for pink or 10-12 mins for well done.
When the duck is ready, baste again with the delicious juices, then rest for 5 mins while you finish everything else.
For the mash, drain the potatoes well, return to pan and mash, gradually adding 50g butter, 50ml double cream and 50ml milk as you do so. Season as required.
Wash 250g spinach leaves in a colander. Throw into a big pan with a knob of butter and some seasoning, then wilt for 1 min, stirring throughout.
To serve, thinly slice each duck breast on a chopping board. Arrange on each plate along with spoonfuls of the creamed potatoes, some of the plum sauce and the Buttered spinach.