Cooking with Head Chef, Duncan Winter

A favourite among the diners at No. 10 Restaurant + Bar, this pan-roasted duck breast with pancetta and pinot noir risotto is a great comfort dish during the cooler months ahead.

The key to its success lies in the preparation, which is in two parts – so set out all the equipment required on the bench before you start, along with the prepared ingredients.

Try multiplying the quantities in the recipe at home and wow your friends by serving it at a dinner party.

Presentation is always important in commercial kitchens so cap off your delivery of the pan-seared duck breast and risotto from kitchen to table by serving it with a sprinkling of parsley leaves, a glass of pinot, an elegant pepper grinder and some extra parmesan cheese.

Pan-seared duck breast with pinot noir and pancetta risotto (Serves 2)


- Medium pot

- Medium frying pan

- Chef’s knife

- Chopping board

- Large kitchen spoon

- Tongs

- Serving plates


- 2 x 225g duck breasts

- 1 x tbsp. and 1 x tsp. extra virgin olive oil

- 100g pancetta, diced

- 1 x medium brown onion, finely diced

- 2 x celery sticks, washed and finely diced

- 1 x garlic clove, peeled and finely diced

- 100g carnaroli or arborio rice

- 100ml pinot noir

- 500 mls chicken stock

- 1 x tbsp. chopped parsley

- 1 x tbsp. unsalted butter

- 1 x tbsp. finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano, plus extra for serving - Parsley for serving, large leaves - Cracked pepper for the table

- Preparation

Part 1 – make the risotto

  1. Place a saucepan on medium heat with a tablespoon of ed, add the diced pancetta, onion, celery and garlic. Sautee until the onion has softened.

  2. Add the rice and continue cooking and stirring for another two minutes to avoid burning.

  3. Deglaze the pan with the pinot noir and let the liquid reduce by half. Start adding the chicken stock, a third at a time, and stir continuously.

  4. Once all the stock has been added and absorbed by the rice, remove the risotto from the heat and cover with a lid.

Part 2 – pan-roast the duck and finish the risotto

  1. Place a frying pan on medium heat and add the teaspoon of olive oil.

  2. Season the duck breasts with salt on both sides. When the pan is heated, place these skin side down and cook for 5 minutes before turning and cooking for a further 5 minutes on the other side. Remove the duck from the pan and let it rest on a clean plate for 5 minutes. Save the resting juices.

  3. Once the duck is rested, finish the risotto by adding the butter, parmesan cheese and chopped parsley. Stir through with the large spoon and serve on a plate or in a large bowl.

  4. Carve the duck breast into six slices and arrange on top of the risotto. Spoon the resting juices from the duck over the dish, and sprinkle with large parsley leaves.

  5. Take the dish to the table with extra parmesan cheese, cracked pepper and a bottle of pinot noir and some cracked pepper.

Chef’s tip:

Although arborio has long been a household name when it comes to rice varieties, I use carnaroli when making risotto. From the Pava, Novara and Vercelli regions of Italy, it is a little harder to find but the higher starch content, slightly longer grain and firmer texture make a creamier and better-looking risotto. Most Italian grocers stock the variety.