Duck salad with caramelised fennel and bitter leaves
( SERVES 6 )
Maggie made this with pheasant. I substituted that with duck.
- Marinate a medium-sized duck in olive oil, thyme sprigs, the juice and zest of one orange and 2 tablespoons of juniper berries.
- After a few hours sear off the duck in butter in a heavy based pan.
- Cut the legs off the frame and roast these with the duck body in a medium oven, adding any remaining marinade. Unlike a pheasant, the duck will give a lot of fat. Drain this off during the cooking to achieve a crisp skin. Cook till the duck is still "pink", at least 20 minutes.
- Remove the meat from the pan, drain on paper towels and rest.
- Remove the duck breasts and slice. Slice the meat off the legs, splash with verjuice and keep warm.
- Slice fennel bulbs into crescents. Melt some butter in a heavy-based pan. When butter is nut brown turn the heat down and add some olive oil. Sprinkle in a tablespoon of sugar, then add the sliced fennel. Season with salt and cook until lightly caramelised.
- Drain the oil and butter off the pan, add some capers, black pepper and a tablespoon of verjuice and reduce the liquids. Keep warm.
- Make a salad base of bitter leaves, radicchio, sorrel, whitlof and rocket. I also like to add some cos for a fresh crunch contrast.
- Arrange the duck and caramelised fennel across this. Dress with a good olive oil and serve. Maggie made a hot dressing to pour over this with some reduced pheasant (duck) stock. I think there is enough going on with the duck and fennel juices to not need to do this.