Pan roasted duck breast on saffron rice with pomegranate, orange and pistachios

With glistening pomegranate seeds, green pistachios and golden saffron rice, this dish from Sophie Michell adds a splash of Christmas colour to your table
By Sophie Michell
Pan roasted duck breast on saffron rice with pomegranate, orange and pistachios
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6-8
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 4 scored duck breast, seasoned heavily
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 200 g basmati rice
  • 1 big pinch saffron
  • 300 ml vegetable stock
  • 50 g mixed dried berries, such as sour cherries, barberries, sultanas
  • 1 handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 handful mint, chopped
  • 1 tsp orange zest

To decorate

  • 2 tbsp pomegranate seeds
  • 1 tbsp kibbled pistachio nuts
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses

Tips and Suggestions

Prick or score duck skin to help it release the fat. You can save this fat and use it for roasting potatoes.

You can use pomegranate molasses in beverages, sauces, marinades, salad dressings and many other dishes. Try making a pomegranate soda by mixing 1 teaspoon of pomegranate molasses with a little bit of lemon juice and sugar, then adding club soda. You can also add rum or vodka for a refreshing cocktail.

Try adding 1 teaspoon of pomegranate molasses and a little sugar to a simple, lemon vinaigrette. Serve it over greens tossed with toasted walnuts, golden raisins and goat cheese.


1. Place a frying pan on a low heat and immediately add the duck breasts skin side down don't worry about waiting for the pan to heat up. Cook for 10 minutes or until the skin has started to crisp. Turn up the heat and cook for another 8 minutes or until golden. Flip over and brown on the flesh side.

2. Add the butter to a saucepan and gently fry off the onion and garlic until golden brown.

3. Add the rice and saffron, mix well to cover with the butter and add the stock. Finally, add the dried fruit, cover and cook for about 20 minutes or until the stock has evaporated.

4. While you are waiting for the rice to cook, finish off the duck by putting in a medium hot oven for 5-10 minutes until cooked to your liking.

5. When the rice is done, add the herbs, and orange zest, season and fork through. Leave to sit, covered for another 5 minutes.

6. Slice the duck on the diagonal and serve alongside the rice. Decorate with the pomegranate seeds, pistachios and pomegranate molasses.

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