Pan Fried Duck Breast Salad

Good Monday morning to you darlings!
How was your weekend? Did you get up to anything special? I know in the United States that it was a 3 day weekend… Lucky bitches.
I’m pretty lucky myself though – I got to lay on a sunny patio, drinking beer with one of my very best friends; went to see The Avengers on Friday night (lots of shit blows up – I love it. Plus there’s the small but sexy little matter of Robert Downey Jr.); did some market shopping on the Saturday as well as some house cleaning & reading – just started The Hunger Games!; cooked up some spot prawns; watched the sunset on a very windy beach with a beer and my beau; and on Sunday I had a little face time with my other best friend – my laptop; did some more reading; some more wining and dining; and just chilled right the ef out. If you ask me, not a bad way to spend a weekend.
…Oh yeah, and I got around to doing my write up for this month’s Secret Recipe Club.
This month for SRC I was assigned Karen’s blog Lavender & Lovage. Can I just say how exciting it is – not to mention super fun – to get assigned a blog whose recipes and anecdotes have already been inspiring me for months? I’ve enjoyed Lavender & Lovage for quite some time and so when I found out that I had to make something from such a seasonal food friendly blog, my little heart-soul sang.
Karen spends most of her time between rural North Yorkshire and the South West France, growing most of her own vegetables and all her own herbs. The time that isn’t spent doing that is used up blogging, styling and photographing seasonal food. Again I say, lucky bitch. 
Choosing one recipe to make from her blog was a bit of a challenge. After debating about the:
Um, carbs much?
….I ended up making the Pan Fried Duck Breast Salad with Mixed Berries and Walnuts. It was fresh, luxurious, sweet yet tart and savory all at the same time. And oh so simple to put together. I was a little unsure about the dressing – usually I add a touch of citrus to mine. But I kept with Karen’s recipe and boy heck all mighty – I’m glad I did. It was perfectly acidic and complimentary to the entire dish. I also suggest you add some dried currants to your fruit selection. The super sweetness of those little devils mixed with the salty nuttiness of the walnuts makes the nuts actually taste candied! I didn’t even sauce up the meat – something I tend to do with duck like in this recipe – and the flavor of the meat really came through. 
There were 2 things I added/changed though. The first was because of the lack of berries in the house. I added a sliced nectarine to the mix. The second was that I modified the cooking time slightly because my breasts were rather large. Story of my life.

*As Karen states in her original post, if you don’t eat meat, you can sub goat cheese instead. Mmmm goat cheese… 

**To see what Karen @ Lavender and Lovage made from my blog, click here.

Pan Fried Duck Breast Salad with Fruit & Toasted Walnuts
Serves Two
2 Duck Breasts, skin on.
100g Mixed Berries (i.e. dried cranberries, currants, blueberries) and Soft Fruit (i.e. plums, nectarines, pitted cherries, etc.).
75g Fresh Seasonal Salad Greens.
6 Tbsp Raspberry Vinegar.
4 Tbsp Good Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
50g Walnuts, toasted.
Kosher Salt & Fresh Cracked Black Pepper.What to Do:

First things first, prepare your breasts. haha… Pat each one lightly to remove excess moisture. Now, taking a very sharp knife at about a 45 degree angle, lightly score the skin of each breast in a diamond pattern, taking care not to cut into the flesh. This will help the the fat release from the skin and crisp it up nicely. Season both sides generously with salt and pepper.
Place a cast-iron pan over medium-high heat.
Once hot, add the duck, skin-side down, and town down the heat to medium. Cook for 6 – 7 minutes, or until the skin is dark and crispy.
*The excess fat will begin to cook off and you may need to *very carefully* spoon out some of that fat. Ducks have an enormous amount of fat under their skin to help keep them warm in the water and you don’t wanna run the risk of too much fat in the pan and having it spark a grease fire. But save that fat! You can keep it in a jar in the fridge for about forever – and when you’re ready, use it as an “oil” for your next batch of roasted potatoes!
Flip and continue to cook for a further 2 – 5 minutes, depending on the size of your breasts (hehe), and how “done” you want the meat to be. I recommend medium rare which means an internal temperature of 125 degrees F.
Move the duck to a wire rack, cover with foil and let rest for 10 minutes.
As it rests, pour the oil, vinegar, and a good helping of salt and pepper into a mason jar. Shake baby shake. Taste – season more if necessary.
Now throw the salad leaves into a bowl and gently toss with a couple Tbsps of the salad dressing. You can always add more if it isn’t enough. Season the leaves with a pinch of salt and pepper. Plate and scatter with a few pieces of fruit and mixed berries, followed by the walnuts.
Once the meat has rested, gently & thinly slice at an angle (think diagonal direction) and carefully place on/next to the salad. Pair with a fruity red wine and some crusty bread.
What did you get up to this weekend?  Big stories to tell? Small ones?
Does anyone inspire you like Karen inspires me? 



This post is linked up with The Hearth & Soul Blog Hop; Tasty Tuesdays; Slightly Indulgent Tuesday; Tuesday Talent Show; Whole Foods Wednesday; Cast Party Wednesday; Frugal Days & Sustainable Ways; Showcase Your Talent Thursday; Full Plate Thursday; Tastetastic Thursday; Foodie Friday; Fight Back Friday; Fresh Bites Friday

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  1. says

    FABULOUS Darlink! I love how you have adapted this to your tastes and cupboard! I am delighted to have been given your blog too, BUT LISTEN!! PLEASE go back to read the full post, my bloody draft copy was published and not my edited version, so I have just amended that now! LOL! There’s LOTS more about you! LOVELY LOVELY photos too…..I am chuffed to bits as they say in our neck of the woods! LOVELY write up about me, I am OVERWHELMED! Merci encore darlink! Karen

  2. says

    They were selling duck at the Greenmarket yesterday. I passed by the duck people yesterday and started thinking “maybe it’s time to bring (minimal/local/sustainable/ethical) meat back into my diet…” This makes me *really* want to do that!

    • says

      oooh Sam! What brings about the change? Also, if you can get local farm fresh happy ducks (haha, i accidentally typed “fucks”), that may be a good place to start. Small bits though or you’ll hurt your tummy! I learned that one the hard way when I came back onto minimal/local/sustainable/pastured/ethical meat. Ouch. And gross.

    • says

      Let me know how it is! I want to see that movie too! Actually, would have went on friday if it wasn’t for Avengers. Blasted Robert Downey Jr. haha.

  3. says

    Sweet MERCY this looks incredible!! If I could hire a chef to cook for me, holy crap, it would SO be YOU.
    &, for the record, the 3 day weekend was AMAAAAzing!

  4. says

    You have done such a beautiful job of this wonderful recipe – it looks positively professional as well as delicious! Thank you for introducing me to another wonderful blog as well – I’m just off to visit Lavender and Lovage.

    It sounds like you had a fabulous weekend. Mine was busy with a 50th birthday party in England (not mine I hasten to add!), followed by a flight to San Francisco! (And I got to share in the 3 day weekend over here which was very cool – although I will be missing the Diamond Jubilee long weekend so it all balances out!)

    Have a lovely week!

  5. says

    I enjoy ordering duck @ restaurants but have never cooked it myself – this salad sounds like a good place to start! Thanks so much for linking it up. The Secret Recipe Club sounds fun – I’ll have to check it out!

  6. says

    Anything with duck has my husband smiling, so I am saving this recipe for the next opportunity of making some duck (that means, next time I find it around our neck of the woods… :-)

    great pick for SRC!

    • says

      do you hunt it?? in some ways i would love to learn to hunt – i think it brings you as close to your food as you can just about get. but the bloody gutting, etc… not sure i have the stomach for that.

  7. says

    I haven’t had duck in ages… it is a really delicious bird. Your recipe looks terrific. I would love if you would share it on my foodie friday party today.

  8. says

    Hi Kristy,
    Oh my your presentation of this recipe is just beautiful. The Duck looks delicious, a very special recipe. Hope you are having a great week end and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  9. says

    This salad looks excellent. I love duck, but have never had it in a salad before, I’m sure it tasted great. Thanks for sharing at Showcase Your Talent Thursday!

    • says

      Thanks Alyssa! putting it in a salad makes it a little lighter than on a plate with potatoes or polenta etc… nice for summer time. though i do love my polenta and potatoes.

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