Quince and duck are a wonderful food match. When you start cooking this recipe the heady fragrance of the quince is the first sign of the good things that will follow. The quince syrup is drizzled over the dish at the end adding a perfect touch of sweetness to this appetiser.






Skill level

Average: 4.5 (5 votes)


  • 1 duck breast, skin on
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 splash white wine
  • ½ cup julienned leek
  • ½ cup julienned carrot
  • ¼ red onion, julienned
  • 1 bunch Chinese broccoli (gai lan)
  • extra virgin olive oil

Quince and syrup

  • 1 quince
  • 2 tbsp sugar 
  • 3 cinnamon quills
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 6 cloves
  • ½ tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 cups water

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Marinating time: 2 hours

To make the quince and syrup, peel and core quince and save skin and core to be used later. Slice into quarters lengthways.

Place quince, sugar, cinnamon, bay leaves, cloves, coriander seeds, lemon juice and water in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly till quince is cooked but still firm.

Remove quince pieces from saucepan and add peel and core to the liquid. Boil till liquid becomes ruby coloured then strain into a medium jug. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Place duck breast in a small bowl and rub in sea salt and cumin. Pour in ¼ cup of the quince syrup and olive oil and transfer to the refrigerator to marinate for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 170ºC. Place marinated duck breast directly into a frying pan over high heat for approximately 2 minutes each side so that the meat is sealed. Remove duck from pan and pour in just enough white wine to deglaze the pan. Add quince pieces and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.

Place the julienned vegetables in a baking tray, add the duck and quince pieces and bake together for 45 minutes.

Steam or blanch the Chinese broccoli and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Slice the duck breast thinly.

Place the Chinese broccoli on a plate, arrange the julienned vegetables on top and the duck breast, plus the quince pieces. Pour over the remaining quince syrup and serve.