Duck & wild rice salad with cranberries & spiced pecans

Duck & wild rice salad with cranberries & spiced pecans

6 as a main course
15 mins
Cooking time
35 mins
Deidre Rooney

Plain chicken – fried in a chargrill pan or left-over roasted – also works well in this very American salad. Change the cranberries to dried sour cherries too, if you like.

From the grocer


Quantity Ingredient
35g pecans
25g butter
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
60g soft dark brown sugar
salt and freshly ground black pepper
75g wild rice
75g brown basmati rice
300ml chicken stock
1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
80g dried cranberries, soaked in boiling water for 15 minutes, then drained

From the butcher

Quantity Ingredient
500g smoked duck, cut into neat slices

From the greengrocer

Quantity Ingredient
5g chopped flat-leaf parsley
150g watercress


  1. Put the pecans into a dry frying pan over a high heat and toast for about 30 seconds, then add the butter, mixed spice, cayenne pepper and sugar. Reduce the heat and cook for another 1½–2 minutes, turning the nuts over as you go – they should be caramelised but be careful not to burn them. Season lightly with salt and pepper and spread out on a plate to cool.
  2. Put both types of rice into a saucepan and cover with the stock. Bring to the boil, season and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until all the stock has been absorbed and the rice is tender, about 35 minutes. If it gets too dry add a little water. Wild rice never goes soft – it remains firm and nutty.
  3. While the rice is cooking, make the dressing by whisking together the vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, peanut oil and extra-virgin olive oil. Taste for seasoning.
  4. As soon as the rice is ready, pour over half the dressing and mix. Leave to cool to room temperature and taste for seasoning – rice salad needs a lot. Gently mix in the duck, parsley, watercress and cranberries. Add the pecans and the rest of the dressing. Taste again for seasoning and serve.
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