I’ve mentioned before that we really like Gordon Ramsay and his programme The F Word, I really like his style of cooking especially his fast food segment. We really liked the look of his duck recipe he did on last week’s episode and we decided to go mad and cook something non-Italian for a change – crazy kids!!

There were a few ingredients that we didn’t have in our cupboard so I took myself and the princess off to Superquinn for these FOREIGN ingredients and spent an hour trying to find them:

  • sherry vinegar – negative
  • Chinese 5 spice – negative
  • roasted hazelnuts – negative
  • hazelnut oil – check.

I think the staff in Superquinn thought I was some crazed loony as I was over and back, over and back and to add more to my confusion they went and changed all the sections around. Supermarkets use this ploy for people like me who go to Superquinn everyday because at this stage I know where everything is so I don’t impulse buy because I just go straight to what I need. They think if they shake things up a bit and you go to the olive oil section and there is soup there instead you might impulsively buy it! Sneaky!

Just to distract me and delay me some more, the free sausage stand was in operation, I have another confession to make “I LOVE FREE SAUSAGES IN SUPERMARKETS”! I don’t know what it is but you can smell them a mile away and for some reason I’m always hungry when I’m shopping, and the worst part is they always give you those fun-size pieces and you’re always too embarrassed to take 2 because you will look like a savage. For some reason freebies make  you act like a fool and get all girly and smiley “ooooh are these to sample” when you know full well they are! Bruno has no interest in Supermarket samples and always looks at me in disgust when I’m sampling at each stand acting like I’ve never had YOP before or a sausage, maybe it’s an Irish thing!

I must have walked past that sausage stand about 5 times looking for my ingredients and I think the Sausage Lady thought I wanted more sausages but was too shy to ask because she kept smiling everytime I passed. The spice section then finished me off altogether, we never use spices or dried herbs so I never have any need to be in this section. THERE ARE SO MANY! I was going gaa gaa trying to find this Chinese 5 spice, all I could see was a Thai 7 spice. Being completely ignorant of other cuisines – 5 spice, 7 spice, All spice, posh spice, what’s the difference? So I went with the 7 spice and hoped for the best. The princess had gotten so bored at this stage she had fallen asleep!I eventually got everything and headed home in the rain:(.

There is actually a video of this recipe on Gordon’s website but there is a little bit more work than he let’s on so be warned!!


  • 2 duck breasts
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • Chinese 5 spice or Thai 7 spice
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce – after all that I forgot this and had to go back again and no I didn’t have another sausage:)!
  • 200g green beans
  • 40g hazelnuts
  • 50ml hazelnut oil
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 50ml sherry vinegar – we used red wine vinegar instead.


 –  we had to roast our own hazelnuts, we just heated up a dry pan and cooked them for a few minutes, we let them cool down and peeled the skins off. Gordon had a jar of skinless hazelnuts already roasted – of course!

 – we then had to tear the bits off the top of the green beans (excellent culinary speak but I don’t know the technical term) and Bruno complained the whole time. We were laughing because  it’s quite traditional in Italy when beans are in season for the women of the house to sit down at the table for a couple of hours with hundreds of beans and here we were moaning about 100g??? Our fast food recipe was fast becoming a very slow food one!!

 – score the duck breasts and season with salt and pepper and your 5/7 spice.

 – place your duck breast skin side down on a dry pan and cook over a low heat for about 8-10 mins until all the fat melts. Pour the fat into a bowl and keep in the fridge for roast potatoes at a later date.

 – turn up the heat and cook until the skin is crisp, turn the duck onto the other side and cook for 3-4 mins. The most important thing with duck is that it is served pink. Just before the duck is ready pour over the honey and soy sauce and cook until the sauce had turned into a syrupy glaze. He recommends to transfer the duck to a warm plate and let it rest for 5-10 mins, we were too bloody hungry to do this and we still had to take photos! You’re supposed to always let meat rest for a few minutes before serving as it enhances the flavour.

  – while all this is happening bring a pot of water to the boil, add salt and your beans and cook for a few mins, the recipe states 1 minute but a certain Italian doesn’t like his vegetables too crunchy so we left them on a little longer but they were still crunchy enough.

 – crush your hazelnuts with a pestle and mortar, drain your beans and pat dry with kitchen paper and mix together. We never premake our salad dressing, we just add each ingredient to the salad to taste – salt, vinegar, olive oil and hazelnut oil.

 – place your beans on the plate and serve your duck on top and drizzle whatever sauce is left in the pan over the top. The recipe also includes a side of potatoes but we didn’t make them as there was enough in just the duck and the beans and some crunchy bread on the side.

VERDICT – absolutely delicious and worth all the effort but we’ll be sticking with what we know for a while and cooking Italian!!! The 7 spice worked perfect, Gordon mightn’t agree but he’s never going to know is he???

Buon Appetito!!!

p.s. sorry for the long post but I had to take you on my journey into the unknown!!