Crisp Skin King Cole Duck a l'Orange Citrus Salad and Caramelised Fennel

11:58 pm on 15 October 2007

King Cole is a breed of duck introduced to New Zealand from Canada. The method of cooking the duck perhaps goes against convention as in starting with a hot pan. Don’t be alarmed - it will yield the most wonderful crisp skin.

(Serves 6)


  • 6 x 200gm breasts of duck
  • 1 tbsp flaky sea salt
  • 150 ml mirin
  • 100 ml sake
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 small piece cinnamon
  • juice of 1 pink grapefruit
  • 200 ml brown chicken stock
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 pink grapefruit
  • 3 bulbs fennel
  • 75 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 50 g unsalted butter


Sprinkle salt into the base of a fry pan, rest duck skin side down on the salt and place the fry pan on a low to medium heat.

Cook for 6 to 8 minutes until all the fat is rendered from the duck and the skin is crisp.

Turn the duck over and cook for a further 2 minutes, remove from the pan and rest for 10 minutes in a warm place in the kitchen.

For the sauce, place the mirin in a sauce pan and reduce to a light caramel, add the grape fruit juice and reduce by half.

Add the sake and reduce by half, add the brown chicken stock, clove and cinnamon and reduce over a medium to high heat by half.

Pass the sauce through a fine sieve and discard any debris.

For the fennel trim the tops and remove the outside stringy layer, cut each bulb into 8 wedges.

Heat olive oil in a fry pan over a medium to high heat, add fennel and colour to light golden on each side 5 to 7 minutes.  Add butter and baste with a spoon over the fennel until caramelised, season with freshly milled white pepper and flaky sea salt.

To Serve

Cut each duck into 4 nuggets and arrange in the middle of a plate, tuck the fennel amongst the duck nuggets and scatter around the citrus segments.  Spoon the sauce around the duck.

John Hawkesby’s wine suggestion

Pinot Noir

  • Trinity Hill Hawkes Bay Pinot Noir 2006
  • Trinity Hill High Country Pinot Noir 2006
  • Nautilus Estate 2006

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