The Food Gatherer's Note: This recipe uses the classic combination of duck and orange and we've used these glorious blood moro oranges which are currently in season (only for a short time so get them while you can!). You could use asparagus in place of the beans but they wont be the British varieties at this time of year. Organic is always best to use when zesting, otherwise you will need to give the fruit a good scrub in warm water to remove the wax.
Warm Winter Salad with duck and blood orange Salad
4 x 200 g duck breasts
2 teaspoons five-spice
freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon grapeseed or ground nut oil
2 large handfuls green beans , trimmed
A bag of Forty Hall Farm salad leaves
4 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1-3 fresh red chillies , de-seeded and finely sliced
2 thumb-sized pieces fresh ginger , peeled and grated
4 blood moro oranges, zest of,and segmented
1 tablespoon honey
1 handful fresh mint,leaves picked or a teaspoon of dried mint
3 tablespoons soy sauce
First of all, score the skin of the duck with a sharp knife. Then dust the breasts all over with the five-spice and a small pinch of salt. Put the duck breasts skin side down in a cold wok, then bring it slowly up to a medium low temperature so the white fat turns into wonderful thin, crispy, golden crackling. Cook for around 12 minutes, then turn the breasts over and cook for a further 5 minutes.
By which time they will be cooked medium, so remove them to a plate and pour away the duck fat. Get your beans, spices and seasonings ready to go and wipe your wok. This should be really hot (you'll probably need to open a window).
Add a tablespoon of grapeseed or groundnut oil to your hot wok. Carefully swill the oil around so that it covers the whole pan. Add your green beans and toss around, then add the garlic, chilli and ginger. Continue stir-frying on the highest heat for a couple of minutes, until the beans have softened a little but still have a nice crunch. Remove them to a plate. Slice up your duck breasts into little slivers and put these back into the wok with any resting juices and maybe an extra pinch of five-spice. Cook until nice and crispy.
Meanwhile, lay the salad leaves on 4 plates ready to serve then put the beans back into the wok, and turn down the heat. Add the oranges, honey, half the fresh mint (or all the dried if using) and the soy sauce, and serve straight away top of the salad and sprinkle with the rest of the mint. Serve with new potatoes or rice.