Marinated duck salad with burghul

The contrast of sweet citrus, slightly bitter greens, spicy chilli, earthy grains and tender duck is marvellous, with sweet basil adding an unexpected note. Poaching takes away the natural bitterness of cumquats so they yield up a sweet citrus flavour.

Marinated duck salad with burghul


  • 1 cup (175 g) burghul
  • 4 small duck breast fillets, about 500 g in total
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1½ tablespoons mild chilli powder
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • ⅓ cup (20 g) finely shredded fresh basil
  • grated zest and juice of 1 orange, plus juice of 2 more oranges
  • juice of 1½ lemons
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 16 cumquats
  • 1½ tablespoons sugar
  • 3 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup (15 g) chopped fresh coriander
  • salt and pepper
  • 200 g salad leaves
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, or to taste
  • ¼ telegraph cucumber, finely diced
  • ½ large tomato, finely diced


  1. Place the burghul in a bowl and cover with boiling water.
  2. Leave to soak for about 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, remove all of the skin and fat from the duck breasts.
  4. Put the breasts in a dish and add half of the garlic, chilli powder, cumin and basil, all of the zest and juice of 1 orange, the juice of ½ lemon and 2 teaspoons of the oil.
  5. Mix well then set aside to marinate.
  6. To prepare the cumquats, cut a small slit in each one (do not cut all the way through).
  7. Place the cumquats in a saucepan with the juice of 1 orange, the sugar and ⅔ cup (170 ml) of water.
  8. Bring to the boil and simmer over a moderate heat, turning the cumquats so that they cook evenly, for 15–20 minutes or until tender and the liquid has reduced by about half.
  9. Remove; leave to cool in the liquid.
  10. Drain the burghul and return it to the bowl.
  11. Add the spring onions, the remaining garlic, chilli powder, cumin, lemon juice and orange juice, 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil and the coriander.
  12. Season.
  13. Heat a ridged cast–iron grill pan or non–stick frying pan.
  14. Remove the duck from its marinade and brown on both sides over a high heat.
  15. Cook for a further 4–5 minutes, turning the breasts frequently so that they don't stick or burn.
  16. The meat will be rosy in colour in the centre (cook a little longer if you prefer it well done).
  17. Remove the breasts to a carving board and slice very thinly against the grain.
  18. Arrange the salad leaves and remaining basil on 4 plates and place 4 cumquats on each bed of leaves.
  19. Drizzle with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil, the balsamic vinegar and a little of the cumquat cooking liquid.
  20. Place a portion of the burghul salad in the centre of each plate, and arrange the duck slices around it.
  21. Scatter on the diced cucumber and tomato, and serve immediately.

Serves 4
Preparation: 20 minutes, plus 30 minutes soaking and cooling
Cooking: 25 minutes


Perfect Poultry

Click here for more cookbooks...

More Recipes

Cooking for Chemo

New free cookbook aims to help those battling cancer

Australia’s Leukemia Foundation has worked with qualified dietitians and celebrity chefs to produce a range of easy, tasty and nutritious recipes for blood cancer patients.

Need To Lose Weight? Start With Butter In Your Coffee

Need Help To Lose Weight? Start With Butter In Your Coffee

It may sound strange - and downright disgusting - but wellness experts are singing the praises of this buttery beverage.

Rendang Wrestling: To Crisp or Not to Crisp

The Great Rendang Scandal: to Crisp or Not to Crisp?

What was all the recent fuss surrounding chicken rendang? We give you the lowdown on the kitchen kerfuffle.
Easy Peasy Chocolate Cake

Easy Peasy Chocolate Cake

Here's a no-fuss, yet impressive, cake for a special occasion. Serve with a generous dollop of cream or a spoonful of good ice-cream.
Double Chocolate Creams

Double Chocolate Creams

A delicious treat, chocolate is a great feel-good food.