Fifteen Recipes of Christmas- Michael Caine’s Roasted Gressingham Duckling with Honey, Spices, Savoy Cabbage, Celeriac and Roasted Garlic

Michael Duck


Duck Breasts:
4 x 180g duck breast
20 pieces of  celeriac cut into 15mm dice, blanched in the fryer at 150°C until soft
20 garlic cloves blanched three times then roasted
Clear honey with pinch of Chinese five spice mixed in

Duck sauce:
1 kg duck carcasses chopped small
300ml veal glace
700ml chicken stock
1 large onion cut into thick rings
1/2 head of garlic
50ml Sherry vinegar
15g fresh thyme
50ml cream
5g white peppercorns
2g salt
5g Chinese five spice
100g honey (clear)

Savoy cabbage:
350g raw Savoy cabbage, sliced
40g smoked back bacon, diced
20g garlic purée
4g finely chopped shallots
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Duck Sauce:
Roast the duck carcasses lightly in the oven. Just before they finish roasting, sprinkle the bones with the chinese five spice. Remove the tray from the oven and place on top of the stove, add the onions and garlic and very lightly colour the onions, then add the thyme. Cool the bones and deglaze the pan with the chicken stock.

Separately in a saucepan make a gastric with the honey and vinegar. Heat the honey and bring to a rolling boil and cook for 3 minutes, but be careful not to burn the honey or the sauce will become bitter. Add the vinegar and reduce. Now add the carcasses and chicken stock to the gastric, along with the veal glace, peppercorns, thyme and cream.

Bring to the boil and skim off the scum, reduce to a simmer and cook out for 30 minutes. Strain through a colander and then pass through a fine sieve. Reduce to a sauce consistency; adjust the seasoning and the acidity.

Savoy Cabbage:
Cook the cabbage in boiling salted water, then refresh in iced water. Drain well and pat dry. Sweat the finely chopped shallots in the butter, then add the smoked bacon. Add the cooked cabbage and dry out before adding the garlic purée. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Duck Breasts:
Refrigerate the ducks well before scoring the skins (we pop ours in the freezer for a few minutes). Taking a sharp knife score the fatty skin of the duck breast in a criss-cross pattern, but be careful not to cut the meat.

Season with salt and pepper and, using a thick, flat-bottomed pan, heat a little non-scented cooking oil and place the breasts skin side down. Cook at a fairly high temperature so that the skin renders out the fat, but be careful not to burn.

Once the skin is golden brown and crisp, turn the breast over and seal the other side for 1 minute before returning it once more to its skin side. Crisp the skin a little more before turning the breast onto its other side once more and finish cooking to your desired degree of doneness.

Once cooked remove from the pan and brush the honey and five spice over the crisp skin and leave to rest.

To serve:
Place the garlic into a pan of cold water and bring to the boil, refresh in running cold water and repeat twice more. Now place the garlic into a thick-bottomed pan with a little butter and season with salt and pepper. Cook slowly until lightly golden. Once the garlic is golden brown and soft, add the blanched celeriac into the pan to reheat.

Reheat the duck in the oven for a few minutes, and then thinly slice. Place the cabbage down the middle of the plate and dress the duck on top. Place five celeriac die and pan-roasted garlic around the outside of the duck and then sauce.



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