Sweet and simple recipe for a flavour-filled Duck and Spiced Plum Salad
1 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper, to season
1/2 tsp dried coriander powder
2 happy, plump duck breasts
4 Tbsp runny honey
1 medium bag mixed salad leaves, rinsed (we used baby spinach and watercress)
1 ripe avocado (optional)
Seeds of 1/2 a pomegranate (optional)
For the spiced plums:
4 ripe plums
2/3 Cup red wine
4 cloves, 3 bruised cardamom pods, 1/2 stick cinnamon (don’t worry if you don’t have all of them)
1 Tbsp sugar
Cut each plum roughly into sixths, removing the stones. Add the plums, whine, spices and sugar to a small saucepan and leave to simmer gently for at least 10 minutes. Remove the plums and set aside, leaving the liquid to reduce further.
Meanwhile, ‘score’ the duck breasts by slicing through the skin at 1cm intervals. Season with salt and pepper and the coriander.
Pre-heat your oven to 180C and then on the stovetop heat a good quality pan along with the olive oil.
Fry the duck breasts skin side down for 3-4 minutes until golden. This process will also render a lot of the fat out of the duck skin. Turn the breasts over, drain the fat out of the pan, and place in the oven (on transfer to an ovenproof dish if your pan is not ovenproof), drizzle over the honey and cook for a further 5-7 minutes in the oven. Remove the breasts when they are still quite pink in the middle and leave to rest, covered with tinfoil.
Meanwhile prepare your salad, topping with the plums and avocado if you have. Then thinly slice the duck against the grain, add to the salad and dress with the red wine reduction.
*You could also use pears or nectarines instead of plums and you could grill instead of poaching, and use a dressing of honey, mustard, lemon juice/balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
*Reserve the duck fat for the next time you make roast potatoes, it makes the most amazingly crispy and delicious roasties.
Recipe provided by Sarah Graham, author of Bitten, Smitten and A Foodie Lives Here food blog.