Loose Duck Race

Leah Matthews

Leah Matthews from New Line Learning Academy in Maidstone 2018 finalist

This dish was inspired by my school’s location Loose. Annually, a charity event known as the ‘Loose Duck Race’ takes place. Hundreds of plastic yellow ducks swim and race down the stream. It’s strangely competitive a little like me!


Potato Roses
1. Preheat oven to 200°.
2. Peel potatoes, slice very thinly, lengthwise using a mandolin.
3. In a bowl, combine potatoes, garlic powder, black pepper and olive oil. Toss well to coat the potato slices.
4. Grate gruyere cheese.
5. Place slices of bacon on to chopping board. Arrange potato slices along one edge so they are slightly overlapping. Sprinkle
evenly with gruyere cheese.
6. Carefully roll up the bacon and potatoes to form a rose.
7. Place roses into muffin tin.
8. Bake for 40 minutes, until potatoes are cooked through and crispy. (If the potatoes start to brown too quickly, cover with foil).
Pickled Mushrooms
9. Bring the water, vinegar and sugar to the boil.
10. Place mushrooms in small glass bowl.
11. Pour pickling liquid over mushrooms and leave to pickle for at least 20 minutes.
12. Mix together Chinese five spice and lavender. Place into plastic container and set aside.
13. Season the duck breasts evenly with salt.
14. Place frying on hob at a medium heat. Place each breast skin side down into the dry pan and slowly render down the fat.
(Turn down heat if frying pan is too hot).
15. As the fat is released from the breast be sure to remove any excess from the pan by tilting it towards you and taking out with
a spoon.
16. Cook for 8 minutes, then turn duck over and continue to cook for a further 6 minutes.
17. Place onto baking tray and cook for 4 minutes in the oven.
18. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5-7 minutes.
Mushrooms and Spinach
19. Drain mushrooms and dry with kitchen roll. Heat butter in a frying pan.
20. Add mushrooms and sauté until lightly brown.
Potato Roses
21. Remove potatoes from oven.
22. When the duck has finished resting, place the breasts flesh side down into the spice mix
23. Return to the pan, flesh side down to sear the spices. After 1 minute, add the honey and coat the duck until it reduces down
to a sticky glaze.
Mushrooms and Spinach
24. Whilst cooking the duck, add spinach to the mushrooms and allow to wilt. Season with sea salt. Check flavour.
25. Cut the duck breasts diagonally into neat slices.
26. Place 3 potato roses onto a long rectangular plate.
27. Add the mushrooms and spinach, creating a bed for the duck breast.
28. Carefully place the sliced duck breast on top of spinach and mushrooms.
29. Drizzle any remaining glaze over duck.
30. Garnish with red chard.
31. Serve.


Bacon Wrapped Potato Roses
3 x Kentish Potatoes
1g Garlic Powder
20ml Kentish Olive Oil
25g Gruyere Cheese
6 x slices Smoked Streaky Bacon
Pickled Woodland or Shitake Mushrooms
60ml Water
100ml White Wine Vinegar
20g Caster Sugar
200g Woodland or Shitake Mushrooms
10g Chinese Five Spice
5g Dried Kentish Lavender (cut fresh and dried from New Line Learning Academy)
2 x Duck Breasts
Sea Salt
60 ml Kentish Honey
Pickled Woodland or Shitake Mushrooms
15g Butter
200g Spinach
Sea Salt
Micro Red Chard