Duck Wellington

I am a carnivore par excellence. I love my meat and will not deny it, nor hide it. Still, and it is something I feel with most ingredients, I owe it to that piece of nourishment - be it meat, fish or a lettuce - to cook it in the most honourable way possible: in a way that will be nourishing for me and mine, and tasty, and visually appealing, and that brings out the best nutrients and flavours in the ingredient I am using. It's just the way I am. And so, I love duck.

 I confess we do not know many duck recipes, truly. Basic "arroz de pato" - duck rice- a typical portuguese dish that kind of sits at the bottom of my duck preferences; canard a l'orange, which is the way I do prefer it; magret de canard. So, every once in a blue moon, I get crazy and decide I have to try something different. I'm usually wary of playing with those tried and tested recipes that I know I love to eat just the way they were meant to be cooked, and to me duck was meant to be cooked certain ways. But then one day I decided that it would be a great idea doing a wellington out of duck breasts. And that's precisely what we did.

I've said it aplenty, we love making it all from scratch. And that goes for the puff pastry casings in this dish. Only, life's too short for puff pastry making - no, not really - so when husband came across this Gordon Ramsay recipe for rough puff pastry, we were sold. It's an easy one, not overly tiresome, and it does come out so good!! Alright, maybe it does not puff as much as the classic recipe, but it does the trick. We even use it for flaky croissants, that's how good we think it is. And Gordon did win awards for his Beef Wellington, so if the man says this is a good enough recipe, who am I to say no?

The only change we made on Mr. Ramsay's superb recipe was the amount of times we fold and roll the dough. Increase it, if you want it to be flakier. We roll and fold about five to six times. And if you like living quite dangerously, do add tiny pieces of very, very cold butter every time you fold. It IS living dangerously, I know, so do reserve it for special occasions, just before you go on a detox. But you'll thank me for that, as soon as you sink your teeth into that crispy, flaky and buttery pastry.

So for this recipe, you'll need:
  • two duck breasts
  • about 200 gr chestnut mushrooms
  • 50 gr butter
  • 1 sprig thyme - you can use dried thyme if you like
  • 100 ml dry white wine
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 recipe puff pastry
  • two egg yolks beaten with one tbsp water

On a skillet sear the duck breats, making sure the skin is crispy and well cooked, but the meat is still on the (very) rare side. Let cool, and in the meantime, turn on the oven at 180º and chop 200 gr of chestnut mushrooms, to which you can add other types, but keep the ratio of 5 to 1. Make sure the mushrooms are chopped quite fine, they should resemble coarse bread crumbs. Heat two tablespoons olive oil and 50 gr butter in a pan and fry the mushrooms over medium heat. Season with thyme and cook for 10 minutes, stirring often, until you have a softened mix. Season with salt and pepper and add the 100ml of white wine, allowing to cook for another 10 minutes until all the wine has been absorbed. You want this mix to hold shape when stirred. Remove the duxelle fro the pan and allow it to cool.

Overlap two pieces of cling film over a chopping board and spread one half of the puff pastry. On top of it spread half the mushroom duxelles. On top of it, right at the middle, sit one duck breast. Using the cling film, start rolling the puff pastry and the duxelles into a slight sausage shape. Make sure the ends of the puff pastry are tightly tucked under, and won't come out during the cooking. Use some of the beaten egg yolk to seal the rims of the pastry.

Turn the casings over and with a knife, making sure you don't put too much pressure into it, make a few crisscrossed lines on the puff pastry, to allow it to steam. Brush with the beaten egg yolk and milk mix and place on an oven tray over a sheet of baking paper. Cook it for about 20 minutes on the previously heated oven at 180º, and when it's golden, bring it out and allow to rest for ten minutes. Serve with some green beans, just steamed, and a red wine sauce drizzled over it. And then tell me how you liked it.

Truth is, we had cooked a Beef Wellington before, and after trying the Duck Wellington we were able to compare both. Sure, we ommited the prosciutto from the Duck Wellington and we used it on the Beef, but honestly, some times it does not pay up to go and want to stirr things around. Duck Wellington is quite good, deliciously so, even, but to my taste buds it is not by far the best and yummiest way to cook duck, so it came out as a sore loser. On the other hand, I detest beef, and was quite happy to be surprised by the delicacy and divine thing that was the Beef Wellington, to me the only way to cook beef and make sure I will enjoy it. But please, do not take it from me, go ahead and try your hand at both!


  1. só te digo que está com um aspeto bestial, minha querida! tu e o teu marido bem podiam pensar em abrir um bistro, com tantos e tão apetitosos petiscos a abundar por aqui!

    votos de uma ótima semana

    1. Ahahahah lol, como somos os dois altamente antisociais, acho que a coisa não ia resultar. Vá, fora de brincadeiras, não faz parte dos meus sonhos de vida de modo algum, vejo a comida, os pratos de uma forma que fica completamente longe do dinheiro - bom, eu odeio dinheiro, por isso!! - do ganhar dinheiro com. Para mim cozinhar é partilhar, é criar laços, é juntar as pessoas. É espiritual, nunca seria feliz associando ao material, sou burra, que hei-de fazer!!

  2. Nunca me atrevi a cozinhar este prato com medo que ficasse nada comestível, quanto muito fazer tudo de início xD Depois de ter tido patos de estimação nunca mais consegui comer pato x)


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