With Father’s Day approaching, it’s time to think of ways to say thank you to dads. My old man can be tricky to buy for. He always insists that he doesn’t need anything. I beg to differ! Food is a necessity, so a nice meal seemed like a good choice for an early gift. He couldn’t argue with that.
One of his favourite meals is duck, so I was delighted to see it among Iceland’s frozen luxury meats range. He and my mum have a house in France and it’s a dish they only tend to have over there. This is because it’s generally much more expensive in the UK.
Not so in Iceland! I found two duck breasts for a fiver which I think is very reasonable. As always, everything I needed was easy to find in my local store. One French Father’s Day feast coming right up.
I decided to make a sauce similar to one I’ve enjoyed with duck while in France. Fortunately, help was at hand. The sauce includes cherries and my parents had just returned from their French house with a huge tub of them from their garden. This meal would have a French accent – and a familiar one at that!
To accompany the duck breasts and cherry sauce, I chose some asparagus and roast potatoes. Thanks to the #PowerOfFrozen, all of the nutrients and flavours were locked in. This also contributed to the ease of preparation. This was a good thing as I cooked the meal following the daily battle of bedtime with the kids!
The duck breasts needed to be cooked from chilled. I had moved them from freezer to fridge in the morning. The whole meal only took half an hour to make. This was due to the potatoes; everything else was incredibly fast.
To make the sauce, I cooked the cherries on a medium heat with a red onion and splashes of sherry and red wine. Using a potato masher, I squashed everything down to the right consistency before removing all the stones.
The duck was even easier. I pan fried it skin-side down for five minutes. I then cooked it the other way up in the oven for the same amount of time. While this cooked, I microwaved the asparagus and that was that.
I’m not the most confident of cooks so couldn’t believe how quickly it all came together. With the affordability, convenience and appearance tests negotiated with aplomb, however, the most important one was still to come. The nerve-racking taste test!
It was delicious. The duck was of a quality way higher than its price suggests. Tender, flavoursome and with just the right amount of seasoning. The cooking instructions were spot on. It was done to perfection and not overcooked.
The potatoes and asparagus went nicely with it. As did the sauce. In my experience, the dishes that feel thrown together are often the best. So this proved.
My dad really enjoyed his French Father’s Day feast. I enjoyed it too. Luxurious but without the price tag. Nor the fuss. I will definitely be cooking it again soon. Another success from a range of food that continues to impress me.
Disclosure: this is a collaborative post.