Neven, left. Dish: breast of Thornhill duckMacNean House/Joanne Murphy photography

This week, one of Ireland's favorite chefs, Neven Maguire serves up a a firm Irish favorite – roasted duck breast' – for IrishCentral's food enthusiasts. Neven, from County Cavan, is a triple threat as a TV chef, author and restaurant owner. His restaurant MacNean House in Blacklion, Co.Cavan is one of the most in-demand restaurants in the country (it is recommended to make your reservation 6 months – 1 year in advance), named a 'National Treasure' by leading food writer Georgina Campbell and today, he is showing you how to craft one of his signature dishes.

Neven Maguire's breast of  Thornhill duck

Neven Maguire's breast of Thornhill duck


Serves 4

Ingredients:

• 4 x 275g (10oz) duck breasts, well trimmed

• 1 tbsp cracked black pepper

• 8 sweet potato fondants

• spinach purée, to serve

• sweet potato purée, to serve

• honey and clove sauce, to serve

Method:

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/gas mark 6) and preheat the grill to medium.

Score the fat on the duck in a criss-cross pattern. Season the duck on both sides with the cracked black pepper and salt. Heat a large ovenproof frying pan over a medium to high heat and add the duck breasts, skin side down (this helps render the duck fat, giving it a crispy skin,) and cook for about 2 minutes, until the skin is crisp.

Turn the duck breasts over and cook for another minute, then transfer the frying pan to the oven and cook for 8 minutes for a pink finish or 10 minutes if you prefer your duck a little more well done. Leave to rest in a warm place for 5 minutes, without covering.

CREAMED SAVOY CABBAGE

Ingredients:

• 1 tbsp rapeseed oil

• 100g/4oz carrot, finely diced

• 75g/3oz celeriac, finely diced

• 2 tbsps softened butter

• 350g/12oz Savoy cabbage, tough stalks removed and finely sliced

• 200ml/7fl oz cream

• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Heat a pan over a medium heat. Add the oil and gently sweat the carrot and celeriac for three to four minutes. Add the butter and, once it has melted, tip in the cabbage and cook for two to three minutes, until the cabbage is wilted.

Pour in the cream, stirring to combine, then allow to simmer and reduce until slightly thickened. Season to taste and use as required.

This can be made up to 12 hours in advance, then cooled and kept covered with cling film in a bowl in the fridge until needed. Place in a pan and reheat gently, stirring occasionally.

HONEY AND GINGER SAUCE

This sauce is excellent with duck, pork and chicken.

Makes about 200ml (7fl oz)

Ingredients:

• 2 tbsp clear honey

• 2 tbsp dark soy sauce

• 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

• 2 tbsp light muscovado sugar

• 2 tbsp tomato ketchup

• 1 tsp root ginger (or whole cloves)

• 225ml (8fl oz) beef stock

Method:

Place the honey in a small pan with the soy, vinegar, sugar, ketchup, ginger and stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer vigorously for 5 minutes or until the mixture has thickened to a sauce consistency which coats the back of a spoon. Season to taste, then pass through a sieve, discarding the cloves into a clean pan. Reheat gently and use as required.

To Serve:

Carve the duck breast into thin slices and arrange on warmed plates with two of the sweet potato fondants on each one with the creamed savoy cabbage then drizzle over the honey and ginger sauce.