4 duck breasts, with skin (around 200 grams each)
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
600 grams fresh or frozen peas
4 red shallots or 1 small onion
2 tablespoons butter
100 grams thick-cut bacon, diced
1 teaspoon sugar
oil for frying
Wash and dry the duck breasts, and score the skin only with a sharp knife. Rub the salt and thyme leaves into the duck breasts, and place on a heatproof plate that will fit into your steamer. Steam over simmering water for 20 minutes. Remove and pat dry, reserving the juices. You can do this a few hours beforehand.
Cook the peas in simmering, salted water until tender, then drain, refresh with cold water, drain and set aside. Peel and slice the shallots. Heat half the butter in a pan and gently cook the sliced shallots and bacon for five minutes. Add the peas, sugar, a couple of spoonfuls of the duck juices and the remaining butter, and gently heat through.
Heat the oil in a nonstick frying pan, and sear the duck breasts, skin side down, until the skin is crisp and golden (this will happen quite quickly). Turn and cook gently until the duck is hot all the way through. To serve, slice each duck breast on the diagonal, and arrange on a bed of peas and bacon.
bacon recipe courtesy of: Jill Dupleix, Times Online, August 2, 2007