Spiced Duck Breast with Orange and Fennel Salad and Gratin Dauphinois

This meal brings together Spiced Duck Breast, Orange and Fennel Salad alongside Gratin Dauphinois, offering a delicious mix of flavors. You’ll enjoy the spice of the duck, the zing of citrus, and the creamy goodness of the gratin, making each bite truly unforgettable.

This dish combines elements from two recipes: one for the duck and salad found on Delicious, and another for the Gratin Dauphinois by Jamie Oliver, slightly adjusted to suit personal taste preferences and ingredient availability.


For the duck:

  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon dried chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 duck breasts, skin scored
  • Juice of 2 oranges (about 150ml)
  • 100ml dry red wine
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 15ml caster sugar
  • Salt

For the salad:

  • 2 baby fennel sticks, trimmed and thinly sliced, fronds reserved
  • 1 large orange, peeled and thinly sliced into rounds
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
  • 60ml olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 10g pistachios, roughly chopped

For the gratin dauphinois:

  • ½ red (or yellow) onion, thinly sliced (about 50g)
  • 1 large potato, thinly sliced (about 250g)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 125ml cream
  • 1 anchovy, minced
  • 15g Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 12 medium sage leaves, whole
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Fresh parsley, roughly chopped for garnish
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly ground nutmeg
  • Salt


Dry roast the fennel seeds, cumin seeds, and peppercorns until fragrant. Grind to a powder with chili flakes and salt.

Rub the duck breasts with the spice mixture, cover, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

Duck breasts with the roasted spice mixture

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Season the potato slices with pepper, salt, and nutmeg. Line the ramekins with baking paper and layer the potatoes, onions, garlic, anchovy, sage, and Parmesan inside. Pour cream over the layers and bake for 30 minutes until golden brown.

For the salad, mix vinegar, olive oil, and black pepper. Toss with fennel slices and let it marinate for at least an hour.

Remove the duck from the fridge at least 1 hour before cooking. Place the duck skin-side down in a cool pan initially to prevent the skin from contracting, then cook until crisp. Flip the duck and cook for 2 minutes on the other side. This is a great article on how to cook duck breast.

In the same pan, simmer orange juice, wine, vinegar, star anise, bay leaf, and caster sugar until reduced by half.

Arrange orange slices on a plate, top with marinated fennel, fronds, and pistachios.

Return duck to the pan with the reduced sauce and cook for 2 minutes on each side.

Slice the duck and serve with sauce, salad, and gratin dauphinois garnished with parsley.

Cooked perfectly

We served this with 2017 Groote Post, Kapokberg Chardonnay which was brilliant! The tasting notes are below.

Duck and Chardonnay

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