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March 9, 2017

One of the most unique restaurants in Edinburgh, The Witchery By The Castle offers the perfect ambiance for romance.

The walls are seeped with Edinburgh’s history and the setting wows any diner lucky enough to enjoy a meal in this restaurant.

Part of James Thomson’s Collection which also includes Prestonfield, The Tower and Rhubarb, we visited The Witchery Edinburgh to watch Executive Chef Douglas Roberts cook a popular dish from their menu: roast breast of Gartmorn Farm duck, confit of carrot, potato fondant, Madeira & foie gras jus.

Douglas recently celebrated 25 years at The Witchery and has been key to developing its reputation for fine food using the best seasonal local produce.

Here he cooks roast breast of duck from Gartmorn Farm in Clackmannanshire, known for its exceptional quality produce.

Watch him cook this fantastic dish in our video and get the full recipe, with ingredients, to try at home below.

If you want to taste the real deal you can book 2 courses from the lunch and theatre supper menu for £19.95 (Sun-Thurs) at The Witchery Edinburgh on 5pm Dining.

Recipe for Roast Breast of Gartmorn Farm Duck, Confit of carrot, potato fondant, Madeira & foie gras jus


1 large breast of duck, from Gartmorn Farm, trimmed

Sea salt

1 bunch of washed & trimmed baby carrots

2 cloves garlic

1 packet of unsalted butter

1 sprig of thyme

Unsalted butter

1 potato

1 sprig of thyme

Sea salt

200 ml of duck jus (reduced duck stock)

35 ml of Madeira

1 teaspoon of foie gras mousse or chicken liver mousse



Knob of butter


  • Carefully cut the potato into a barrel shape. Cut in half through the middle so you have 2 smaller barrels.
  • Melt some butter in an oven proof dish.
  • Lightly season the potatoes and put in the oven proof dish along with the thyme. The butter should cover about 1/3rd of the potato.
  • Place in a moderate oven for approx. 1 hour or until the potato is firm (al dente).
  • While the potato is cooking, melt the half packet of butter slowly, skimming off the milk fat from the top, until you end up with clarified butter.
  • Place the garlic and thyme into the clarified butter and put on a very low heat. Next, add the carrots and slowly cook for around 10-15 minutes.
  • Whilst the carrots are cooking, cook the duck.
  • In a hot sauté pan, add the seasoned duck fat side down, reduce the heat slightly. Leave the fat to render and crisp up for around 5 minutes.
  • Turn the duck over and cook on the flesh side for a further 5 minutes.
  • Place in a hot oven for a further 7 minutes, take out and leave to rest for at least 5 minutes.
  • Whilst the duck is resting make the jus. Reduce the Madeira in a pan then add the duck jus & simmer.
  • Finally sauté some spinach in a little butter & season.
  • Carefully take the carrots out of the clarified butter and then the potato.
  • Place the spinach in the middle of two plates, arrange the carrots around the spinach then place the fondant potatoes on top of the spinach.
  • Whisk the foie gras mousse into the jus whilst it is simmering then take off the heat.
  • Carve the duck into six pieces and arrange three pieces on each plate.
  • Finally, dress the plate with the foie gras jus.

Get offers and menus for The Witchery Edinburgh here.

The Witchery Edinburgh

Serves 2