Duck Breast Recipe by Chef Dean Butler at The Fitzwilliam Hotel Belfast

Duck Breast Recipe

This duck breast recipe was created by Head Chef Dean Butler at the Fitzwilliam Hotel in Belfast. Perfect for the colder months, cosy up with this autumnal dish.


– 4 duck breasts
– 200g quinoa
– 8 medium red beetroot
– 12 blackberries
– 6 shallots
– 1l chicken stock
– 100ml red wine
– 100ml red wine vinegar
– 100ml cranberry juice
– 50g sugar
– 2 bay leaves
– 3 radishes
– 1 punnet red vain sorrel
– 200ml rapeseed oil
– 1 vanilla pod
– 40g sunflower seeds
– 5g xanthan gum
– Salt pepper


1. Trim duck breasts, place in between two towels and fridge for 1 hour.
2. Peel beetroots and cut four into rough dice. Place into a saucepan with red wine, red wine vinegar, cranberry, bay leaf, sugar, salt and pepper.
3. Simmer until soft (keep 100ml for blackberries). Add xanthan gum and blitz until smooth.
4. Cut the other four beetroots into cylinders with a small ring cutter and cover with rapeseed oil and seeds from the vanilla pod (put pod in also). Put onto a low heat and cook until tender.
5. Finely dice four of the shallots, add quinoa and stock and boil until stock is nearly all gone.
6. Take 100ml of beetroot cooking liquor and put into vac bag with blackberries and compress.
7. Peel last two shallots (keep whole), pan sear in little oil, oven bake 180c for 10 mins and cool slice in half long ways and separate into petals.
8. Finely slice three radishes on a mandolin. Sorrel leaves and sunflower seeds to garnish.
9. Pan fry well seasoned duck breasts on both sides and finish in hot oven 180c for 5 minutes. Leave to rest for a further 5 minutes.

To Plate

1. Smear beetroot puree onto plate, add quinoa along top of beetroot puree.
2. Carve duck in half place in centre and place beetroot confit either side of duck.
3. Add 3 blackberries to each plate, along with a few radishes, a couple of shallot petals and finally, sprinkle with seeds and sorrel leaves.


Dean Butler is the new Executive Head Chef at The Fitzwilliam Belfast, taking up his position in May this year. He describes his style as classical but modern, which he developed while studying culinary arts at Portrush Catering College on the north coast of Ireland and afterwards while training in a renowned 5 star Hotel in London.

Dean is an advocate for sourcing amazing quality produce from the top suppliers in Northern Ireland, which is reflected in his innovative dishes which are representative of the quality local food that is available.

Throughout his career, Dean has earned the coveted title of the Institute of Hospitality’s ‘Chef of the Year’ not once, but twice, and his delicious and inventive dishes are not to be missed.

You may also like...