This colourful, crispy duck salad is packed with protein, fibre, and antioxidants. The orange slices and pomegranate seeds pair wonderfully with crispy duck, fresh watercress, and crunchy walnuts! It’s all topped off with a quick and easy dressing!
Dairy-Free • Gluten-Free
Everything you’ll need – Plus substitutions!
Crispy Duck – How to cook it & how to get it extra crispy!
Everything you’ll need
- Any type of pan will work e.g. non-stick, cast iron, or stainless steel!
- Duck breast with the skin— we will render the fat away (explained under “crispy duck“).
- Watercress— or any mixed leaves will do!
- Orange— if I had to suggest an alternative, it would be a ripe pear, as this would still pair wonderfully with the other flavours and textures. If you try this, I’d love to know in the comment section below!
- Pomegranate seeds— most grocery stores sell them already popped out of the skin if you want to save time!
- Red onion— this can be left out, but of course I think it’s a great addition and pairs well with the sweet orange and tangy dressing.
- Walnuts! I don’t think I’d replace them with anything else in this recipe.
- Dressing— apple cider vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper! You could also use white or red wine vinegar.
Duck breast is often mistaken as a fatty meat, but it’s actually a great choice of lean protein when it’s cooked properly. Here’s the step-by-step:
First— you’ll need to score the duck skin. This is done by carefully slicing the skin in diagonal lines about 1cm apart, without cutting into the meat. This ensures the meat is cooked evenly and as it shrinks, it will keep its shape.
Second— heat up a pan to high-heat. Any type of pan will work (e.g. non-stick, cast iron, stainless steel). We will be “rendering” the fat, which will turn into oil, so no need to add oil to the pan! Season with salt and pepper if you’d like.
Third— once the pan is hot, add the duck skin side down for 6 minutes. You’ll begin to notice the oil (the fat rendering from under the duck’s skin), so carefully tilt the pan and spoon out the oil. This helps create the crispy part! Flip and cook for 4 minutes on the other side.
Forth— take it off of the heat and transfer to a plate. Leave it to sit while you prepare the salad, as the residual heat continues to cook the centre for a bit longer!
Fifth— slice the duck with a sharp knife at a slight diagonal (for larger pieces). The inside should be light pink, but not raw. If it’s too pink, simply add it back to the pan until it’s cooked to your liking.
Assembling the bowl
Plate the watercress and its toppings on first. Shake the dressing in a jar or whisk it together in a bowl and pour it over the salad. Slice and place the duck in the bowl last, so it’s remains hot— serve immediately. Enjoy!
More recipes to try
If you liked this recipe, try these!
- Ginger and Soy Glazed Salmon Poke Bowl
- Prawn Massaman Curry
- Honey Roasted Parsnip Spelt Grain Bowl
- Green Tomato and Apple Chutney
Crispy Duck Salad with Orange Slices and Pomegranate Seeds
- 2 duck breast fillets (~125g each) uncooked
- 60 g watercress
- 1 orange sliced
- 30 g pomegranate seeds
- 30 g red onion sliced
- 30 g walnuts chopped
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar or white/red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- pinch of salt and pepper
- Score the duck breast by slicing the skin in a diagonal direction, without slicing into the meat. Heat up a non-stick pan to medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot add the duck skin-side down. Cook for 6 minutes.
- Tilt the pan and spoon out the fat. This helps create the crispy skin layer. Flip the duck over and cook for another 4 minutes. Turn off the heat, transfer to a plate, and let it sit while the salad is prepared.
- Plate the watercress, sliced oranges, pomegranate seeds, red onion, and walnuts.
- To make the dressing, whisk the vinegar and olive oil in a bowl (or shake in a jar) with salt and pepper. Pour over the salad.
- Slice the duck into strips. The centre should be light pink, but not raw. If it's still raw, add it back into the pan until it's cooked to your liking.
- Serve alongside the salad and enjoy!