La Chatte Gitane (or The Gypsy Cat) was the name we chose for our cottage in France at the time. We chose it while on the road, moving house the first time round, from Ireland to France with 2 dogs and 7 cats in the car.
This blog began its insignificant life as a recipe book for friends and family who would ask me repeatedly for a recipe of this, that and the other.
Since then it has taken many different directions, like we did and like gypsies tend to do. Sometimes making a U-turn and revisiting familiar roads and taking a break when necessary.
You'll find recipes here, but also musings about the places we've called home, the gardens that we've established, not always successfully, the homes we've improved and the environments we've lived in. Currently, after yet another stint in Ireland, we're back in France @ Le Mas d'Ayen

Friday, January 22, 2016

Duck Breast with Asian Style Salad

If only you had made my Asian Flavoured Bread and Butter Pickle then this recipe would be a doddle. I used the vinegary brine as a base for the dressing for this salad, along with some of the pickled cucumbers, onions and chilli.
Never mind, you can still make a lovely dressing from scratch.

The dressing
  • small clove of garlic, peeled and crushed or grated
  • 1 cm piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • a dash of soy sauce
  • Put all ingredients into a jar with lid. Shake it, shake it, shake it ! Ready !

The duck breast
  • 1 duck breast
  • 1 heaped tsp Chinese 5-spice
  • salt
  • Score the skin and rub the breast all over with salt and the 5-spice
  • Place it skin side down in a cold pan and fry over medium heat for about 6 minutes
  • Turn over and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes
  • Take it out of the pan and let it rest for 10
  • Slice the breast meat in thin slices.

The salad
You can use many variations of vegetables for such a salad. The choice is yours.
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and grated
  • my pickled cucumber (you can use fresh cucumber and slice in fine batons)
  • 200 grs (or thereabouts) beansprouts. You can use them raw or slightly blanched.
  • a piece of both red and green pepper, sliced in thin batons.
  • red or green chilli (to taste),  sliced in rings at an angle
  • a handful of cooked rice noodles (cooled)
  • 1 or 2 spring onions, sliced at an angle
  • coriander leaves
  • Put all the ingredients (except the coriander) into a bowl and mix it well with the dressing.
  • Leave to stand for at least 15 minutes.
  • I arranged some lettuce leaves on a plate before spooning on some of the salad.
  • Add the sliced duck breast.
  • Sprinkle with some coriander and drizzle with sweet chilli sauce (if you have it)

Thinly sliced white cabbage and radishes would be a great addition too.
This recipe is enough for 2 servings as a lunch or dinner even. You can easily adapt the quantities  to your needs.
I was on my own when I made this - Bert was away (haha !). The next day I served myself the second portion like this :

And if you are vegetarian, you can always use some marinated tofu instead of duck, of course.

Have a good weekend all !
Patricia xxx...x


  1. Looks tasty, thanks for sharing I still have my 2 bargain ducks in the freezer x

  2. I approve of all that, except the Coriander (fortunately easily left out). I am allergic to Coriander, which is unfortunate since people seem to put it in/on everything these days. Your quick pickle sounds pretty good though.


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