Pan Fried Duck Breast, with Spinach & Orange Salad & Tahini Dressing

There’s a legendary debate that I often have with my flat mate, also a chef, about how to cook a duck breast. I say cold pan, he says hot pan, I (of course) always win this debate! A duck breast should be started skin down in a cold pan to allow the fat to render gradually, rather than sealing it in with a hot pan. Which side of the debate are you?

Preparation Time:  15 Minutes                              Cooking Time: 6-8 Minutes                                  Serves:  2


  • 2 Duck Breasts, skin on
  • Sea Salt & Black Pepper
  • 1 Handful of Baby Leaf Spinach
  • 2 Oranges, peeled & segmented
  • 12 Cherry Tomatoes, halved

For the dressing:

  • The Juice from the remainder of the orange 
  • 1/2 Lemon, squeezed
  • 5 Dates, pitted
  • 2 tsp Tahini
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • Sea Salt & Black Pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 200°C / GM6

2. Segment the oranges, by running a knife down as close as you can to each membrane. Squeeze what’s left of the orange into a bowl and set aside. Prepare the rest of the salad and arrange on the plates.

3. Score the skin of the duck breasts diagonally across with a sharp knife in both directions, this will prevent the skin from bunching up and distorting the shape of the breast. Season well.

4. Place the breasts skin side down into a cold dry pan and place over a medium heat. Once the pan is up to temp, allow to fry for a further 2 minutes, or until crispy. Turn it over and seal the base of the breast for a further minute, then place on a baking tray in the oven for 6 minutes (for medium), or 8 minutes (for medium-well).

5. Meanwhile, place all the dressing ingredients into a food processor (or use a hand blender), and blitz until smooth.

6. Slice the duck breast at an angle and fan out on the plate. Drizzle the dressing over the salad. Bon Appetite!

Bonus Bits

– I love this dressing, and it was brought to my attention by Penni Shelton, in her book ‘Raw Food Cleanse’. Lot’s of great recipes in that book, together with a few different detoxes, perfect for January!

– Duck and orange just seem to go beautifully together, but it also works with a number of fruits, play around with plums, apricots, figs and blueberries too, possible in the form of a sauce.

– Spinach is one of those fantastic super foods, just one cup has nearly 20% of the RDA of dietary fiber, which aids in digestion, prevents constipation, maintains low blood sugar, and curbs overeating. This is among many other benefits, read more.


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