There are some flavour combinations that work exceptionally well together, this fennel and orange salad features two of them. The aniseed of fennel and the citrus flavour of the orange not only work well together but they also compliment the duck breast perfectly.
Fennel and Orange Salad with Duck.
I eat salad as a main meal all the time during spring and summer. They are not a pious way of eating or an attempt to lose weight.
They are just simple delicious food and the lighter, fresher ingredients available at this time of the year just beg for less cooking.
When creating a main course salad what you are looking for are complimentary flavours.
Then the important thing is to have enough substance to ensure you have a complete meal. The duck goes a way to do that and in this recipe, I add a little black rice.
What is Black Rice?
Well first of all black rice, is more purple than black… But that is entirely unimportant.
Black rice which is also known as forbidden rice is unlike wild rice because black rice is actually a rice.
There are reams of information about the nutritious properties out black rice out there. But I love it because of how it tastes.
It is sweet and nutty and has a fantastic texture which works wonderfully in a salad.
It is a whole grain rice and as such, it takes longer to cook than white rice.
There is also much written about cooking rice, for black rice I prefer to cook in lots of rapidly boiling, salted water.
One word of caution, the cooking water comes out a very deep purple. It can and will stain anything it comes into contact with, you have been warned.
Cooking With Duck.
If you have been here before then the chances of you coming across me mentioning duck is quite high.
And that is before we have even got to duck breast. As you can see from the recipes for this fennel and orange salad I like mine on the “pink” side.
Don’t worry I am not that cook that tells you how you should prefer your meat.
I have mentioned this before but to become a ninja master at cooking meat you should buy a meat thermometer.
To have your duck nice and pink like this you want to serve it with an internal temperature of 55°C (131°F) after resting. That means removing it from the pan at around 50°C (122°F).
I personally prefer a little more pink than this and aim for a temperature of 53°C after resting.
If you want to cook your duck more then I would transfer to a hot oven and cook on until it reaches your desired level of ‘cooked’.
As a rough measure, medium is an internal temperature of 62°C (143°F) and well done 67°C (153°F).
- 300g Duck Breast
- 75 g Black Rice
- 2 Oranges
- 1 Fennel Bulb
- 1 Red Onion
- 1 Handful Rocket Leaves
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Cook the black rice in rapidly boiling well salted water for 30 minutes or until cooked.
- When cooked drain and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
- Whilst the rice is cooling finely slice the red onion.
- Cut the base off the fennel bulb and then slice in half along the length.
- Then finely slice at a 45° angle to the bulb.
- After the rice has been cooling for 10 minutes add in the olive oil.
- Then throw in the fennel and red onion.
- Now take the oranges and cut off the skin and cut into segments, do this over the bowl with the rice to catch and juice and then add the segments to the bowl.
- Have a taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Allow to finish cooling whilst we cook and rest the duck.
- Take the duck breast and cut the skin in a cross hatch pattern with a 1cm spacing.
- Season generously with salt and pepper thenplace skin side down in a cold pan.
- Turn on the heat under the pan to a medium/low heat.
- Allow to sit and colour and render off the fat for 12 to 15 minutes.
- It is essential that you do not move the duck for at least 8 minutes and then only move to drain off any excess fat.
- Flip over and then cook on until it reaches your perfect level of 'cooked'. For me that will be just 3-4 more minutes and still nice and pink.
- Remove from the pan, tent with foil and rest for 5 minutes.
- Whilst we are resting the meat pick through and clean your rocket.
- Mix together the rice salad with the rocket and place on the plate just before you carve the duck.
- Thinly slice the duck and arrange over the salad and add some fennel fronds if you have some.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 515 Total Fat: 24g Saturated Fat: 5g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 17g Cholesterol: 204mg Sodium: 300mg Carbohydrates: 36g Fiber: 5g Sugar: 16g Protein: 40g