Pic of Spiced duck with quinoa and persimmon salad

Spiced duck with quinoa and persimmon salad

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Meat mains

Spiced duck with quinoa and persimmon salad

Main Serves 2 35 min
Chinese five spice gives this lovely duck dish a balanced hit of sweet, savory, bitter, and sour. If you don't have the spice mix, make your own by blending a little ground star anise, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and pepper. If you don't have any radicchio, just use more mixed peppery salad leaves or watercress.


  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 50g quinoa
  • sesame oil, for drizzling
  • 2 duck breasts
  • 2 tsp Chinese five spice blend
  • 4 tbsp orange juice
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 star anise
  • salt and pepper
  • ½ head radicchio, leaves shredded
  • handful mixed peppery salad leaves or watercress
  • 1 persimmon, sliced into thin wedges
  • salt and pepper


Prep time: 15 min
Cooking time: 20 min
  • Step 1

    Heat the oil in a small pan. Add the quinoa and toast for 2-3 minutes on a low heat, without allowing it to burn (until it gives off a nutty smell). Add 100ml water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer until just cooked, about 12-15 minutes. The quinoa should be slightly translucent, still have some bite, and have an almost 'popped' look to it. Leave to cool, fluff it up with a fork, then drizzle over a little sesame oil, about 1 teaspoon or so.
  • Step 2

    While the quinoa is cooking, score the duck breast skin a few times. Heat a dry pan, add the duck breasts, skin side down and fry for 8 minutes on a medium heat, without turning or moving the duck, to crisp the skin. Remove the duck and drain off any excess fat (keep it for roast potatoes). Put the duck back in the pan, skin side up. Sprinkle the five spice over the skin and season it with salt and pepper.
  • Step 3

    In a small bowl, mix the orange juice with the soy sauce and honey. Pour into the pan, around the duck (not on top of the skin). Pop in the star anise. Bake in the oven at 190°C/Gas 5 for 8 minutes (slightly longer if you like your duck less pink). Remove from the oven and take the duck breast out of the pan to rest for 5 minutes.
  • Step 4

    Boil the sauce to reduce it slightly. Mix the radicchio, salad leaves and persimmon together in a large bowl. Add the quinoa and toss to combine. Plate the salad, slice the duck and pour over the sauce to serve.

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