Seared Duck With Watercress Salad & Hunter Valley Verjuice

Seared Duck With Watercress Salad & Hunter Valley Verjuice

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Verjuice comes from a French term “vert jus” for green juice. It is a non-alcoholic wine, using the juice of unripe grapes and is acidic enough not to ferment.

It is a milder and smoother alternative to lemon juice or vinegar. Use it to adjust the acid balance of a dish, and bring extra sharpness. It can be incorporated in a wide variety of dishes.

Use verjuice  to make salad dressings, to marinate fresh green prawns or game meat, deglaze baking trays and frypans. It will add life to salsas, and makes a great sauce when added to a pan of roasted beetroot.  It creates a new dimension to the rice when added to risotto. You can even have it as a summer drink, mixed with lemonade, soda or chilled water, or use it instead of lemon juice in sorbet.  Find more ideas on what to do with verjuice here.

Hunter Valley Verjuice is made using only Semillon grapes grown locally in the Hunter. They  are hand-picked in the early hours of the morning to avoid any damage to the fruit and to maintain the acidity of the grapes.  

This recipe comes from Bob Leonard at Hunter Valley Verjuice, which is stocked at The Essential Ingredient Newcastle, at The Junction Fair.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 2 double duck breasts
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 350g baby new potatoes cooked & cold
  • 2 tablespoons of Hunter Valley Verjuice
  • 8 artichokes hearts
  • ¼ cup of pine nuts
  • 4 handfuls of watercress
  • 100g cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of Hunter Valley Verjuice
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • Olive oil to suit
  • Reserved juices from the rested ducks

Directions for Seared Duck with Hunter Valley Verjuice

Score the duck fat in a diamond shape and season the fat side well with salt and pepper

Heat a frying pan until very hot and add the duck fat side Cook for 3 mins each side

Place the duck breasts on a plate and pour over the Hunter Valley Verjuice and sprinkle over the parsley.  Cover and set aside for three minutes. Keep the juices that collect on the plate.

Add the potatoes to the flat in the pan and cook over a moderately high temperature until browned. Add the artichokes and pine nuts to the pan and toss quickly to brown and heat through

Slice the duck on an angle into thin Arrange the potatoes, pine nuts, artichokes, grapes and watercress on serving plates and fan the duck breast on top. Pour the dressing and serve immediately.


Mix together the Hunter Valley Verjuice, lemon juice, olive oil, reserved juices from the rested ducks and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

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