Smoked wild duck breast with salt preserved plum and kohlrabi

Serves 4 Starters and mains

Smoked wild duck tac



  • 4 wild duck legs
  • 4tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
  • 1 leek, washed and roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped, plus 4 whole, unpeeled
  • 6 sage leaves, roughly chopped
  • 300ml meat stock
  • 2 smoked wild duck crowns
  • 3 thyme sprigs

For the preserved plums

  • 2 Victoria plums
  • 100ml sherry vinegar
  • 100ml red wine
  • 1tbsp olive oil

For the pickled kohlrabi

  • 2 kohlrabi
  • 100ml white wine vinegar
  • 50ml olive oil, plus an extra
  • 1tbsp to fry

To serve

  • 120g butter-fried breadcrumbs (see recipe below)
  • 30g duck or goose fat to reheat the breadcrumbs (optional)
  • baby leaves or herbs

Butter-fried breadcrumbs

  • 400g bread, crusts removed
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
  • 5 whole thyme sprigs
  • 100g butter
  • 70g Italian hard cheese, grated
  • 1tbsp chopped chives
  • 1tbsp chopped parsley


Preheat the oven to 180C/160C F/Gas 4. Start by braising the duck legs. Coat a deep frying pan with 2tbsp of the oil and set over a medium heat. Add the legs and fry to seal, then transfer to a small roasting tin. In the same frying pan, fry the onion, celery, leek, chopped garlic and sage until caramelised. Add to the tin with the duck legs, then pour in the stock. Cover the tray with tin foil and braise for 21⁄2 hours in the oven.

Remove the legs from the stock and set aside to cool, then strain the stock through a fine sieve and set aside.

Split the plums in half and remove the stones, then season well with salt and cracked black pepper. Put the plums in a bowl with the vinegar and wine and leave for 2 hours, turning a few times to ensure the plums are coated in the solution.

For the kohlrabi, peel the outer woody skin and cut the kohlrabi into 1cm dice. Season and drizzle the vinegar and oil over. Leave to marinate for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally to coat in the solution.

Drain the cubes and either steam for 4-5 minutes or boil for 3-4 minutes until tender. Heat the extra 1tbsp olive oil in a frying pan, add the cubes and fry until golden, then set aside.

Reheat the butter-fried breadcrumbs – if using the duck or goose fat, drizzle this over and put them in the oven for an additional 3-4 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180C/160C F/Gas 4. Crush the whole, unpeeled garlic cloves by hand, discarding the skin. Heat the remaining 2tbsp oil in a frying pan, add the duck crown, thyme and garlic and sear the duck until the crown is golden brown. Transfer to a roasting tin and roast for 12–15 minutes (if you have a meat thermometer it should reach 46C), then remove from the oven (keep the oven on for the plums) and cover with foil to rest. After 5-10 minutes, remove the breast from the bone and trim off any excess fat.

To make the preserved plums, put a frying pan over a medium heat and add the oil. Drain the plums and fry until golden, then transfer to an ovenproof dish and cook in the oven for around 8 minutes until tender.

Reheat the legs and braising stock over a medium heat, then remove the legs from the stock and pick off the meat. Put a plum half on each plate, then place some braised leg meat in the centre. Take 6 piece of kohlrabi per serving and place in a rectangle shape on the side of the plate.

Slice the duck breast and position each piece on top of the kohlrabi, then top the leg meat and plum with the warm fried breadcrumbs and herbs or leaves. Drizzle the reduced braising stock over and around the breast to serve.

Butter-fried breadcrumbs

The night before, break up the bread by pinching chunks off it into approx. 1cm cubes. Spread thinly on a tray,and allow to dry and crisp overnight.

Preheat the oven to 160C/ 140C F/Gas 3. Pour the oil
into a pan set over a medium heat, then add the garlic and whole thyme. Add enough breadcrumbs to cover the bottom of the pan and fry gently, turning all the time to prevent them colouring too much. As the bread soaks up the oil, add small dice of butter into the pan. When the bread is a golden colour, remove and drain using a colander.

Wipe the pan with kitchen paper, then repeat, using more butter, until all the breadcrumbs have been fried. Spread the drained breadcrumbs out on a baking tray, cover with a light grating of cheese and bake in the oven for 3 minutes. Stir, dust with more cheese and return to the oven for another 3 minutes.

Remove the thyme, sprinkle the chopped herbs over and season with salt and pepper. You can keep any unused breadcrumbs in a sealed container for 2-3 days, ready to reheat before serving.

Recipes and photographs taken from Fifty Years: Kinloch Lodge by Claire Macdonald, Jordan Webb, Alisha Fernandez Miranda, photography by Alan Donaldson, Martin Lear, Steve Taylor (, £35).
Smoked wild duck tac
Recipes and photographs taken from Fifty Years: Kinloch Lodge by Claire Macdonald, Jordan Webb, Alisha Fernandez Miranda, photography by Alan Donaldson, Martin Lear, Steve Taylor (, £35).


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