I stumbled across a cute little wine bar on a cold Sunday evening, just across the road from my hotel. The bar was playing old soul classic hits on vinyl, and serving boutique wines from the Loire region. Just when I thought this place couldn’t get any better, the owner marinates some duck breasts then grills them over the open fireplace. I don’t find places like this very often – a very special experience. The combination of great music, wine, fire, warmth and smoky duck was just perfect.






Skill level

Average: 3.4 (10 votes)


  • 4 large duck breast fillets
  • 8 roasted potatoes
  • 2 heads baby cos lettuce


  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) red wine
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground espelette or hot paprika
  • 2 star anise, crushed
  • 2 x 10 cm cinnamon sticks, crushed

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Marinating time 2 hours

Combine marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Add duck breast fillets. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 24 hours, to marinate.

In a wood-fired oven, burn the firewood down to embers. Remove duck from marinade, allowing excess to drain away. Place duck in a grill rack. Cook, skin side down, for 8 minutes. Turn and cook for 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve with potatoes and cos lettuce salad.