Home at 7, Dinner at 8 – Seared Duck

Seared Duck Breast with Watercress, Cashews and Pomegranate

30 Min Total
Preparation 15 min
Cooking 15 min
Serves 4 (8 as a starter)

This light dish is best served at room temperature and therefore perfect for a summer evening. It takes no time to prepare and the only thing that actually needs cooking is the duck.

For the dressing
zest of 2 oranges
juice of 1 lemon6 tablespoons olive oil
a pinch of ground cinnamon a pinch of ground cumin
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon runny honey

For the duck
4 duck breasts, skin on
100g cashew nuts
1 pomegranate or 1 x 100g packet pre-picked pomegranate seeds
300g watercress, big stalks removed

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. To make the dressing, place all the ingredients into a glass jar, tightly screw on the lid and shake hard until all the ingredients have combined. Set the 2 zested oranges aside for the duck.
  2. Make four light slashes in the fat of the duck breast. Rub 2 tablespoons of dressing from the jar into the duck breasts. Place an ovenproof frying pan on the stove, turn on the heat to medium and lay in the duck breasts. It’s better to start cooking the duck in a cold pan so the fat can melt and the marinade won’t burn. Cook the duck skin-side down for 6–8 minutes. Keep checking that the marinade isn’t catching.
  3. While the duck is cooking, cut off the top and bottom of the zested oranges. Using a small serrated knife remove the outer peel and pith. Cut the segments from the orange by holding it in your hand, cutting in between each membrane and pushing out the juicy segment. Let the segments fall into a clean bowl. Squeeze out any remaining juice into the duck pan.
  4. Turn the duck ovven for a further 5 minutes for pink meat and 10 minutes for well done. Remove from the oven and leave to rest.5 Spread the cashew nuts over a baking tray and toast in the oven for 5 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. Mix the pomegranate seeds with the orange segments. Pour over half the dressing, mix in the cashews and watercress and pile high on plates or a large platter. Slice the duck and place on top of the salad. Drizzle over the remaining dressing and serve.

NB: When blood oranges are in season use them if possible.

Adapted from Home at 7, Dinner at 8 by Sophie Wright.

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