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Presto Coffee Cured Duck

Coffee Cured Spiced Duck

4 Large Duck breasts (About 800g net weight)

For the Cure

100ml Presto Espresso

50gr Salt

50gr Sugar

2 Cloves Garlic, Minced

For the Spice Mix

1 tblsp honey and 1 tblsp Dijon Mustard mixed

1 tsp Coriander seeds 

1 tsp Fennel seeds 

1 tsp Cumin seeds 

1 tsp Pink peppercorns 

1 tsp Sesame seeds 

Preparing the duck

Place the duck breast skin side down and remove any excess fat and sinew with a sharp knife.

Turn fat side up and pinch the sides of the breast to raise and tense the middle.

Score the knife across the skin to create a crosshatch pattern, being careful not to break through to the flesh.

Mix the ingredients for the cure, ensuring the sugar and salt is dissolved.

Add the duck and the cure to a bowl and mix thoroughly. Place on a tray in the fridge covered with cling film and cure for 8-24 hours, flipping half way through. 

Once cured, wash off the duck and pat dry with kitchen paper. Take out of the fridge 1 hour before cooking to come to room temperature. 

Preparing the spices

Preheat the oven to 160ºC.

Place all spices, on a tray and into the oven and toast until aromatic.

Add to a pestle and mortar or spice grinder and lightly break down, preserving a bit of texture.

Place on a plate, ready to season the duck.

{Pro tip: Fat does not absorb seasoning in the same way as meat, and when the fat is rendered some of the seasoning will be lost, so be generous and ensure the duck is seasoned within the scores. As the duck is already cured, you don't need additional salt}.


Brush the duck with the mustard and honey mix and roll in the spices.

Place the duck breast skin side down in a cold flat frying pan, you'll need two pans for 4 duck breasts.

Place on the heat at a medium low temperature.

After 2 to 3 minutes the fat will begin to render. 

Caramelise and render the duck breast, pressing down on any part of the duck that isn't as crispy, to create contact with the pan.

After 5 minutes, hold the pan at a slight angle to allow the fat to collect at the edge of the pan.

Using a spoon, baste the top of the duck breast.

Repeat for 2 minutes.

By now the breast should be rendering for 7 to 9 minutes on a low heat and the skin should be evenly crisp and golden brown.

Turn up the temperature too high and turn the breast skin side up and cook for 3 minutes, to caramelize the flesh.

{Pro tip: If you are having Sunday Lunch or a dinner party you can prepare up to this point before your guests arrive and reserve the caramelised duck breasts to finish in the oven while your guests are having their starter}.

Add the the oven for 5-6 minutes, fat side up to finish cooking through 

Remove the duck from the pan and allow it to rest, skin side up, in a warm place for 5 minutes before carving.

This duck recipe combines beautifully with a range of garnishes from shaved fennel and orange salad, a traditional roast garnish or simple roasted root vegetables.