This Gunpowder Gin & Grapefruit Duck will blow you away!

Inspired by the spiced notes of March’s Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin, our resident gin chef, Carol Donner, has created the perfect dish to tantalise your taste buds.

Well, here we are in March. Three months into 2017 (that's a whole quarter of a year!) and where has the time gone?

And what could I cook this month using the delicious Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin, with its oriental aromatics and zesty citrus undertones? I'm pretty sure most of our January diets have fallen by the wayside by now, and spring is still a way off, so I reckon we need some comfort food. So I have chosen duck.

I love duck in all its forms – duck pâté, crispy duck, confit duck, duck cottage pie (oh yes!), roast duck...any duck. And duck lends itself to both oriental and fruity flavours, so it was a bit of a no-brainer.

I hope you enjoy my recipe, which would make a great supper dish for two or a dinner party dish if you increased the quantities. It certainly went down well in my own kitchen. I served it with a little rocket salad with a soy dressing, but a pile of creamy mashed potato and some lightly sautéed pak choi would be quite delicious.

Gunpowder Gin and Grapefruit Duck

Gunpowder gin and grapefruit duck

Serves 2


2 duck breasts

For the marinade:

1 star anise
Pinch of Chinese Five Spice powder
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tbsp Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin
1 tbsp light soy sauce
Pared rind of half a ruby red grapefruit
Salt and pepper

For the sauce:
Remainder of marinade
1 tbsp Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin
1 tbsp concentrated liquid chicken stock (bottled variety is excellent for this)
1 rounded tablespoon ruby red grapefruit marmalade
1 tsp Chinese rice vinegar
Segments from the ruby red grapefruit and juice squeezed from the leftover grapefruit flesh (approx 1-2 tbsp)
1/2 tsp cornflour slaked with a little cold water.


1. Grind the star anise in a pestle and mortar, then mix with all the other ingredients to make the marinade. 

2. Prick the duck skin all over with a fork, then coat in the marinade and leave in the fridge overnight.

3. Heat oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4

4. On the hob, heat an ovenproof pan on a high heat and add the duck, skin side down, and cook for a minute until the skin is nicely brown.

5. Turn duck over and place in a preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, depending on size of breasts and how pink you like it.

6. Meanwhile tip the remaining marinade into a small saucepan (minus the grapefruit zest), bring to the boil and simmer for a minute. 

7. Add the grapefruit juice, marmalade, gin and rice vinegar and stir until the marmalade has melted, then simmer for a further minute.

8. Finally add the slaked cornflour and stir until thickened and glossy.

9. Remove the duck and allow to rest, covered for 5 minutes.

10. Tip all the pan juices (yes, all of them – the fat has the most flavour!) and any juices from the duck into the sauce.

11. Reheat the sauce and whisk well. This will incorporate the fat. Turn off the heat and add the grapefruit segments (I also like to add another tablespoon of gin at this point).

12. To serve slice the duck, arrange on a plate and drizzle the sauce and grapefruit segments around it.