Neil Perry’s Roast Duck with Cherries

Serves: 4

We don’t cook duck enough. None of us do.

Because every time we cook it. And eat it. We tell each other just how much we love it.

And how far too little we cook it.

We then promise to cook it much more.

And then we don’t.

And the cycle repeats.

In this Neil Perry recipe, I have omitted how to roast the duck; Neil’s recipe asks for two whole ducks, though you can just as easily get duck marylands – even duck confit – from good supermarkets.

The trick is to shred the duck, removing any fat and skin.

This recipe – we called ‘Duck and Cherries’ – was course #3 of #6 we served at our Long Lunch/Short Wedding and many guests said it was the standout:

The cherry sauce can be made beforehand and reheated with the duck. Serve with a salad of baby leaves and a garnish of finely chopped parsley and this would be a wonderful starter or main at any dinner party.

No question, it is a quacker cracker.


1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp butter
500gm cherries, pitted (fresh or frozen, which we used)
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
Balsamic vinegar
Baby leaves
Continental parsley, finely chopped


  1. Place a pan over a medium heat and add the oil and butter and cook until foaming; add the cherries, sugar and salt and cook for about 15 minutes until soft and fragrant. Remove from the heat and give a really good grind of pepper.
  2. Places heap of the shredded duck meat onto each plate. Spoon over the cherry sauce, drizzle with balsamic vinegar and add another grind of pepper. Garnish with the parsley.
  3. Serve with baby leaves at the side.

Warmed Red Cabbage Salad with Toasted Walnuts and Goats Cheese

Warmed Red Cabbage Salad with Toasted Walnuts and Goats Cheese

Serves: 6

This is a really great salad.

Really, really great.

The melting goat cheese, the toasted walnuts, the apple, the balsamic vinegar. It’s warm, crunchy, rich and sweet.

This is a real treat.

Serve with lamb koftas, beef or chicken kebabs, BBQed pork tenderloin.


1 small head, red cabbage, cored and sliced into strips
1 small apple, cored and sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
2 – 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
200gm goats cheese
½ cup walnuts, toasted
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. In a frypan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat and add the garlic and cook until fragrant though not browned. Add the onion and 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar and cook for a minute.
  2. Add cabbage and stir well; cook for 5 minutes or so until slightly wilted and softened though still bright coloured.
  3. Add apple, walnuts, season and stir well. Add the goats cheese and stir to gently incorporate. Taste for seasoning and add additional balsamic vinegar if it needs some acidity.
  4. Serve immediately.

Easy grilled chicken

Serves: 4

This is a pretty awesome marinade.

Though it needs context.

With so much going on, planning more elaborate meals has escaped us of late. Indeed, we’ve been eating out with friends and family, doing work functions, finding little time to plan and shop ahead.

Which brings us to Friday night where, having spent the week up and down calorie and meal-wise and rarely in the kitchen, a grilled piece of chicken and a salad is almost all we want. You know, wanting to gain a small footing on the healthy boat before the inevitable weekend of cheese and wine and goodness.

Grilled chicken seems the option

But grilled chicken? It’s Friday after all, right?!

So introducing this marinade.

The pretense that marinade means nothing on chicken when it comes to the searing BBQ is completely lost on this marinade. A piece of bland chicken breast you are most definitely not left with.

Closer to a pork rib.

It ain’t subtle yet underneath it’s (healthy) chicken. And underneath that it’s Friday night, so you sort of need better than a bland chicken breast. Life is just too short.

Baste the chicken breast on the BBQ as you go, do some potatoes and a salad and nobody would know this was a last minute hack. Plus it’s healthy and it tastes pretty amazing and… it’s Friday!


¼ cup balsamic vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp brown sugar, packed
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp dried rosemary
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


4 chicken breasts
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley leaves to serve


  1. Slice the chicken breasts in half length-ways.
  2. Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl and marinade the chicken; we used a large ziplock back. Refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight, mixing the chicken about every so often.
  3. Over a hot grill, cook the chicken, marinating with the remaining sauce.
  4. Set aside the chicken for a few minutes once cooked, slice and serve, sprinkled with the parsley.
  5. It’s Friday!

Café Green Salad

 Serves: 4 – 6

This is a really sweet little vinaigrette with the addition of the soy.

To the greens I added thinly sliced radishes and snippets of chives, though you could really do anything and it would be amazing.

Served with a steak w/ black olive butter, some sautéed mushrooms with garlic and a smashing mac and cheese. You can imagine the smiles and red wine cheers!


3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
Small splash soy sauce
Salt and pepper
Salad greens


  1. Whisk together the ingredients except the greens to make the vinaigrette. Taste for seasoning.
  2. Dress the greens with the vinaigrette.