A perfect example of how fruit and meat can work wonderfully together - plus something to give it all a lovely crunch.
I love the flavour of fruit and meat together, while the chicory and walnuts give a lovely crunch. If you're short of time, cook the duck ahead and serve the whole dish at room temperature. Another nice addition is some ginger and sliced spring onions in the vinaigrette.
4 gressingham duck breasts
100g soft dates
3 large yellow chicory heads
3 large ripe pears, sliced
1tsp vegetable oil
For the vinaigrette:
75ml olive oil
15ml red wine vinegar
1tsp Dijon mustard
Grated rind of one orange
Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6.
In a bowl make the vinaigrette - mix the olive oil, vinegar, orange rind and mustard. Season and leave to one side.
Prepare the ducks - make sure the skin is evenly scored, making a criss-cross pattern.
In a hot pan add a teaspoon of vegetable oil. Season the duck breasts and add them to the pan fat side down and allow the duck to crisp up. The fat will start to render down gently - tip it away from the pan.
Continue to crisp the skin until golden brown. Turn over and place in the oven for four minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to rest. Put the chicory, sliced pears, walnut and dates all in a bowl and add the vinaigrette. Mix well and serve on a large plate with the sliced duck breast..
• Angela Hartnett is chef patron at Murano restaurant and consults at the Whitechapel Gallery and Dining Room, London. Twitter.com/angelahartnett
Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardian