Chargrilled duck breast with peas, broad beans and hot mint sauce

Chargrilled duck breast with peas, broad beans and hot mint sauce

Grill Smoke BBQ
Kris Kirkham

I love cooking this dish in early summer, when peas and beans are at their sweetest and most vibrant; however, for convenience or out of season, you can use good-quality frozen peas and beans. As well as adding extra flavour, brining the duck breast beforehand helps to keep it succulent. To get the skin nice and crisp, it’s best to score it and render the fat over a low heat, then you can ramp up the fire to cook the meat quickly so it stays pink. The hot mint sauce has an exotic North-African edge to it that works well with fatty meats – the acidity of the hot vinegar cuts through the richness.


Quantity Ingredient
2 x 200g gressingham or barbary duck breasts
1/2 quantity see method for ingredients
70g fresh or thawed frozen peas
70g fresh or thawed frozen broad beans, outer skins removed
sea salt
black pepper

For the hot mint sauce

Quantity Ingredient
75ml extra virgin olive oil
1 large garlic clove, thinly sliced
1 bunch mint, stalks and leaves separated
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, lightly crushed
50ml cabernet sauvignon vinegar or other red wine vinegar


  1. Trim the duck breasts of any excess fat and sinew, then use a very sharp knife to lightly score the skin in a criss-cross pattern, without cutting into the flesh. Put in a non-reactive bowl, pour over the brine and refrigerate to cure for 1 hour.
  2. For the hot mint sauce, place the extra virgin olive oil, garlic, mint stalks and the cumin and coriander seeds in a small, non-reactive saucepan and place over medium heat on the stovetop. When the garlic starts to turn golden, remove the pan from the heat and carefully pour in the vinegar. Season well, then set aside for an hour or so to infuse.
  3. If you are using fresh peas and beans, cook them in boiling salted water for 2 minutes. Refresh in iced water, then drain.
  4. Light the barbecue and set for direct/indirect cooking.
  5. Remove the duck breasts from the brine and pat dry with a paper towel. Place the duck, skin-side down, on the grill in the indirect heat zone and throw a small handful of cherry wood chips onto the charcoal. Close the lid of the barbecue and cook the duck for 4 minutes to render some of the fat and lightly caramelize the skin. Open the lid, transfer the duck to the direct cooking zone, throw another small handful of wood chips onto the charcoal and close the lid. Cook for 5–6 minutes, still skin-side down, then turn the duck breasts onto the flesh side and cook for 2 minutes or until cooked to medium (if you press your finger into the meat, it should bounce back); give it another 3–4 minutes if you want it well done. Move the duck to a warm spot to rest for 5 minutes.
  6. Strain the infused mint sauce into a clean saucepan, then add the peas and broad beans and bring to the boil in the direct heat zone. Season the sauce well, throw in the mint leaves and remove from the heat as soon as the mint has wilted.
  7. Spoon some of the peas and beans onto the plate, then thickly slice the duck breasts and place on top. Spoon over the rest of the peas and beans, drizzle over the hot mint sauce and serve.

Serve with

  • Grilled fennel with goat’s curd, honey and hazelnut picada; Lamb chops with smoky aubergine and salsa verde.


  • You'll also need some cherry wood chips.
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