Fennel and Orange Salad with Duck

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.

Portrait image of a fennel and orange salad served with a sliced rosy pink duck breast served on a white plate

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.

Fennel and orange is a combination I have used before in this orange and harissa salmon recipe it is delicious. Of course, duck with orange is one of the all-time classic combinations.

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.

Portrait overhead image of a fennel and orange salad served with a sliced rosy pink duck breast served on a white plate

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.

Portrait close up image of a fennel and orange salad served with a sliced rosy pink duck breast served on a white plate

Cooking With Duck.

If you have been here before then the chances of you coming across me mentioning duck is quite high.

I love cooking with and eating duck, whether it is confit duck leg, as duck ragu with pasta, a whole roast duck or even as a duck burger it is a real favourite of mine.

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).

Portrait image of a fennel and orange salad served with a sliced rosy pink duck breast served on a white plate
Fennel and Orange Salad with Duck

Fennel and Orange Salad with Duck

Yield: 2 Servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
A fennel and orange salad features classic complimentary flavours, I add a simply cooked pink duck breast and some black rice to create a complete light main course salad.

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. Cook the black rice in rapidly boiling well salted water for 30 minutes or until cooked.
  2. When cooked drain and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  3. Whilst the rice is cooling finely slice the red onion.
  4. Cut the base off the fennel bulb and then slice in half along the length.
  5. Then finely slice at a 45° angle to the bulb.
  6. After the rice has been cooling for 10 minutes add in the olive oil.
  7. Then throw in the fennel and red onion.
  8. 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.
  9. Have a taste and season with salt and pepper.
  10. Allow to finish cooling whilst we cook and rest the duck.
  11. Take the duck breast and cut the skin in a cross hatch pattern with a 1cm spacing.
  12. Season generously with salt and pepper thenplace skin side down in a cold pan.
  13. Turn on the heat under the pan to a medium/low heat.
  14. Allow to sit and colour and render off the fat for 12 to 15 minutes.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Remove from the pan, tent with foil and rest for 5 minutes.
  18. Whilst we are resting the meat pick through and clean your rocket.
  19. Mix together the rice salad with the rocket and place on the plate just before you carve the duck.
  20. 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
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Readers Comments

12 thoughts on “Fennel and Orange Salad with Duck”

  1. That duck looks perfect for me! I have black rice in the cupboard but not used it for ages so this dish is a great inspiration as I remember the nutty taste. A great salad for summer.

  2. Oh my word! This duck is down to perfection and the salad is such a fresh, delicious accompaniment! Can’t wait to try this!

  3. So many of my favorite flavors on one plate! I love fennel salad and bet it would be amazing with that perfectly cooked duck! I’ll have to search for black rice.. sounds pretty tasty!

  4. Fennel and orange is such a good combo! I don’t use fennel enough in the kitchen – so tasty! Such pretty photos too.

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