Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Duck breasts in limoncello with carrot and celeriac mash

Prep time 30 mins to 1 hour
Cook time 30 mins to 1 hour
Serves 4
From Saturday Kitchen


  1. Pat the duck breasts dry and place them in a shallow dish.

  2. Peel the lemons with a potato peeler so you get ringlets of lemon zest, then squeeze the juice from them.

  3. Scatter the lemon ringlets over the duck pour over the juice and limoncello and leave to marinate for about 30 minutes.

  4. Remove the duck from the marinade, dry on kitchen paper and season well all over with salt and pepper. Do not discard the marinade.

  5. Clarify the butter in a large frying pan by letting it melt, then when it begins to foam, carefully lifting off the foam with a tablespoon, leaving just the clear, golden liquid. Add the olive oil.

  6. When it is hot, place the duck breasts in the pan, skin-side down, and seal well on both sides.

  7. Reduce the heat and cook for about 12 minutes, turning the duck over from time to time. This will give you medium-cooked duck, which I think is ideal for this dish.

  8. Now turn the heat up high, pour in the marinade and let it evaporate, turning the duck over and giving the pan a shake from time to time - this will help the sauce thicken.

  9. As soon as the sauce has thickened, remove the pan from the heat and place the duck breasts on a chopping board. Leave to rest for about five minutes, then cut them into slices, arrange on four plates or one serving dish and pour over the sauce.

  10. To make the carrot and celeriac mash, boil the vegetables and strain off the liquid using a piece of muslin.

  11. Return to the pan, season with salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil, and puree with a hand blender.

  12. Serve with the limoncello duck.


  • 4 boneless duck breasts
  • 2 large lemons or fruit relating to liqueur used
  • 250ml/8fl oz limoncello
  • 50g/2oz butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

For the carrot and celeriac mash

  • 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 celeriac, peeled and chopped into chunks
  • olive oil to taste
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Shopping List

Duck breasts in limoncello with carrot and celeriac mash

Fruit and vegetables

Cooking ingredients

Dairy, eggs and chilled

Meat, fish and poultry


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