5-Spice Duck Breast Salad with Kumquat Dressing



I am celebrating the season of citrus with this recipe - clean and refreshing kumquats and blood oranges combined with roasted sweet potatoes and pan seared duck breast, rubbed with 5-spice powder. I love to serve this combination with slightly bitter greens such as escarole to balance the richness of the duck - sweet, sour and savory all in this winter salad.


5-Spice Duck Breast Salad with Kumquat Dressing

1 head of escarole washed and dried

2 5-spice duck breast (recipe below)

1 cups diced roasted sweet potatoes

2 blood oranges peel removed and cut into circles

Kumquat Dressing (recipe below)

  • Peel the sweet potato and dice into ½ inch pieces, toss with a bit of olive oil and salt, place on a line baking sheet

  • Roast at 375 for about 20 minutes or until they are soft and lightly browned

  • Make the dressing while the sweet potatoes are roasting (recipe below)

  • Prepare the duck breast (recipe below)

  • To assemble the salad lay the escarole on a platter, sprinkle the roasted sweet potato over, then the blood oranges, arrange the sliced duck breast on top and drizzle with the kumquat dressing



Kumquat Dressing

16 kumquats washed and dried

1 tablespoon honey

¼ cup seasoned rice vinegar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¾ cup avocado or olive oil


  • In a blender combine all of the ingredients except the oil and blend until the kumquats are pureed

  • With the blender running, add the oil in a slow steady stream to emulsify the dressing

  • Store the dressing in the refrigerator


5-Spice Duck Breast

2 duck breast

1 teaspoon olive oil plus for the skillet

1 teaspoon 5-spice powder

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper


  • Pat the duck breast dry with paper towels, then score the skin in a diamond pattern, being careful not to cut through to the breast

  • Mix the oil and spices together, divide the mixture and rub it evenly into the scored duck skin

  • Coat a cast iron pan with a drizzle of olive oil

  • In the cold pan, place the breast skin side down and bring the heat to medium, cook to render the fat and crisp the skin, be careful not to brown to quickly - about 15 minutes

  • Turn the breast over, reduce the heat to low and continue to cook 1-2 minutes or until the breast temperature comes to 125 degrees for medium rare - if you like your duck well done, bring it to 165 degrees (recommended by FDA for safety, not taste..)

  • Remove the breast from the skillet and rest while you prepare the salad

  • Slice after the breast has rested for about 10 minutes