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Duck marinated in a delicious mahogany brown mushroom sauce

Enjoy duck marinated in a delicious mahogany brown mushroom sauce finished with a walnut and parsley chive mixture…. Bon Appétit!


Breast of Duck with Mushrooms and Walnuts
Serves 8

  • 4 breasts of duck, trimmed of all membranes
  • 500 gms (1lb) white mushrooms, thoroughly washed and cut
    into quarters or eighths depending on size
  • 4 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch of chives, finely sliced
  • 1 bunch of parsley, washed and finely chopped
  • 24 perfect walnut halves
  • sea salt and ground pepper to taste
  • 1 cup of red wine
  • 1 cup good brown stock
  • 1 tabs flour

First brown the walnuts. Heat the oven to 125C/240F. Set the walnuts on a baking tray in the middle of the oven and slow-roast for 45 minutes. They will be delicious and evenly browned throughout. Set aside.

Preheat the over to 240C/475F

With a sharp knife, deeply score the skin side of the duck breasts.

Generously salt and pepper both sides of the breasts. Set aside while your oven comes up to temperature.

Heat a heavy bottomed, high-sided skillet over a high heat for 4 to 5 minutes until it begins to smoke slightly. Add the 4 breasts, skin-side down, and cook for 4 minutes. The duck will render great amounts of fat and the skin will become a delicious mahogany brown. Turn over and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove to a baking dish. Place in oven for 4 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10-15 minutes in a warm place, covering loosely with foil. This is the timing for rare meat.

Pour off all but 3 tabs duck fat from the skillet. Add the shallots, cover the pan and cook for 3 minutes until translucent, then add the garlic for a further minute. Add the mushrooms and cook for 6 minutes covered, stirring occasionally. Stir in the flour, add the wine and then the brown stock. Simmer for 5 minutes. Finally stir in most of the parsley and chives, reserving some for garnish.

Slice the duck breasts, pour over the sauce and finish with the walnuts and parsley and chive mixture.



French Crepes Recipe

If anyone knows crepes, it’s VBT Burgundy Trip Leader Sophie. After all, one cannot grow up in western France, between Burgundy and the Loire Valley, without loving this distinctly French culinary specialty. In fact, she considers crepes her “comfort food.” As a child in the village of Chateaubriant, she helped prepare various savory and sweet fillings for her mother’s delicate wheat-flour pastries.

Food was a constant part of her life because her parents owned the village butcher shop. From an early age, she appreciated the role that recipes play in linking generations. Though she didn’t have the opportunity to travel in her younger years, she burst into world travel after graduating from University, where she studied several languages. In 25 years time, she’s collected stamps from six continents on her passport. But her first love remains the lovely back roads of her native France, which she enjoys sharing with VBT travelers. And you can be sure that she enjoys staying close to home for another reason: the mouthwatering crepes that remind her of her simple childhood in a small French village. She shares it with us here.


1. Mix the flour, water, and salt well, and let sit before cooking. You may even chill the batter overnight.

2. Heat skillet over medium-low heat. Melt a little butter in pan and pour 3 tablespoons of batter onto the skillet and swirl it so it spreads thin. Let it cook about 1 minute to a light golden brown before gently turning with a large spatula. Cook another minute and remove from skillet onto a warm plate. Prepare all crepes and keep them warm.

3. Add savory or sweet filling (see below) down center of each crepe, and fold each side in. Use your imagination; mix any of the ingredients below, and experiment with your own ideas!

Some typical fillings from the VBT Bristol Test Kitchen:


-Sauteed spinach and mushrooms with a dash of thyme
-Cooked shredded chicken and melted Vermont cheddar cheese
-Grilled shrimp and asparagus
-Thinly sliced ham and shaved cheese


-Sauteed apples and caramel sauce, drizzled with cognac
-Vanilla ice cream, drizzled with chocolate sauce or calvados French apple brandy
-Mixed berries (raspberries, blackberries, sliced strawberries) with whipped cream
-Nutella ( a hazelnut spread) and strawberries

Serves 10