Honey Roasted Duck Breast with celeriac puree and five spice jus

Today's festive recipe is from FOUR - The World's Best Food Magazine's very own Simon Hulstone, a one Michelin star chef who heads up the kitchen at The Elephant restaurant in Devon, UK.

Simon's culinary career got off to a flying start: as a young budding chef, Simon already had several World Junior titles to his name and until 2011, he was the only British chef to win gold in the World Skills Awards. In 2003, Simon was also awarded the Roux scholarship for young chefs and went on to win the National Chef of the Year award in 2008. 

The perfect alternative to the usual Christmas turkey, Simon's well-presented honey roasted duck with celeriac purée is a slice of true Michelin-style cuisine, made festive with the addition of a five spice jus. 

Serves 4


Duck pastilles

1 whole duck (ask your butcher to remove the duck breasts and legs and keep the carcass)

1.5l chicken stock

1 sheet of Feuille de brick

20g melted butter

1 large Maris piper potato, peeled (You will need a Japanese Mandolin slicer for the potato, use the thinnest julienne blade)

Duck breast

Duck breast (as above)


Celeriac purée

1 x 400g Celeriac Peeled and diced to a rough 1 cm cube

200ml Milk

300g Double cream

Salt and pepper


Five spice jus

Duck Carcass

50g shallots, peeled and sliced thinly

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 carrot peeled, cut in half length ways and sliced thinly

1 sprig of thyme

1lt veal stock

150ml red wine

100ml port

Pinch of five spice

Corn flour (optional)

Fondant potatoes

1 large jacket potato, wide and deep

500ml chicken stock

250g unsalted butter


Ribbons of carrot

Pak choi leaves

Small mushrooms such as smiji or girolles 

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For the duck Pastilles

Remove the skin from both duck legs. Cut the legs in two, separating the thigh from the drumstick.

Place the legs into a pressure boiler and cover with chicken stock. Bring to the boil on the stove, then, put the lid on and pressure cook for 30 minutes. (if you don’t have a pressure cooker, cook in the oven whole covered in stock till the meat comes easily away from the bone)

Carefully release the pressure from the cooker. Then, take the duck out of the pan and flake the meat off the bone. You don’t want any cartilage or bones in the mix. Season with salt and pepper and mix the meat up further with your hands.

Take the feuille de brick and square it up by taking a centimeter of the edges.

Brush with melted butter and form the duck mix into a cylinder, around 5 cm in length and a centimeter in width. Roll this duck mix inside the feuille de brick, trying to form a tight cylinder shape, but retaining the duck mix together. Do not trim the feuille de brick yet.

Stick the potato to the turning mandolin slicer, carefully apply pressure and turn the handle without stopping until all the potato has gone through the mandolin. Pick out all the long strands of potato and wrap around the central part of the feuille de brick. Wrap around until you can no longer see the duck through the feuille de brick.

Place in the freezer on a greaseproof sheet until needed.

For the duck breast

Using the duck breasts from the whole bird, season and cook at 62C for 40 mins in a Vac Pac bag.

Take out and cook the breast skin side down in a flat-bottomed pan until the fat has rendered and coloured. Add honey when sealing in the pan until caramelized, seal the sides.

Allow to rest for 5 mins before cutting into small squares. 

For the celeriac purée 

Take a thick-bottomed saucepan and cover with water so it just covers the bottom of the pan. Put all of the other ingredients in and season lightly. Bring to the boil on the stove and turn to a simmer until celeriac is soft like mashed potato.

Pass the celeriac through a coarse sieve, but keep the cooking liquor. Add the celeriac mash to a jug blender and pour some of the cooking liquid, too. Turn on the food processor and blitz. Keep adding the cooking liquor until smooth and the purée can hold its own weight. Check the seasoning and put through a fine sieve to make sure it is smooth. Place into a container and fridge until needed.

For the five spice jus

Roast the carcass in the oven at 180C until golden, put into a colander to drain the fat off (keep a little for frying veg). Heat a thick-bottomed pan on a medium heat. Add a little duck fat and all of the vegetables. You want colour on the vegetables without burning them. The best way to achieve this is to keep stirring the mix until golden. At this stage add the thyme, duck carcass and the alcohol. Add more heat to the pan, reduce the alcohol to a syrup and add the Chinese five spice and veal stock. Reduce this stock by 3/4 at a simmer and remove any scum that surfaces with a spoon or ladle. Put this stock carefully through a fine sieve and discard anything left in the sieve. Put the jus back on the stove in a pan and check its consistency and flavour.  The sauce should have a hint of five spice and be sticky on the lips, add more five spice if needed and re-pass, or if it seems watery add some corn flour.  You want the sauce to coat the back of a spoon.

For the fondant potatoes 

Cut the top and bottom off the potato so it sits flat. Use a metal cutter, 1cm wide and 2cm deep to slice the potato.  Place the potato in an oven tray with the chicken stock and unsalted butter and cook until the chicken stock disappears and you are left with the clarified butter.  Cook until the potato turns golden brown.

For the vegetable garnish

Steam the carrots, pak choi and mushrooms a few minutes before you are ready to serve

To serve

Plate up the ingredients and add garnish experience