Greek pulled duck burger with spiced duck popcorn, apple and peach slaw, pickles and watercress


A spiced, zesty marinade for this slow-cooked duck makes delicious burgers, served with fruit slaw flavoured with a dash of ouzo.


For the duck brine

For the duck

For the peach, apple and ouzo slaw

For the popcorn

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 50g/1¾oz popping corn
  • 1 tsp ground fennel seeds
  • pinch chilli flakes

To serve

  • 1 bunch watercress, leaves picked
  • 1 dill pickle, thinly sliced
  • sheep’s milk cheese, such as a truffled pecorino, sliced
  • 6 burger buns


  1. To make the brine, stir the salt, sugar, vinegar and 1 litre/1¾ pints water in a saucepan over medium heat to dissolve the sugar and salt. Remove 6 strips of zest from the oranges using a vegetable peeler, add to the pan with the orange juice, garlic and spices, and bring to a simmer. Turn off the heat and transfer to a container large enough to fit the duck. Add 2 litres of cold water and allow the brine to cool before adding the duck, pushing it down to submerge it. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or overnight.

  2. When you are ready to cook, remove the duck from the brine and pat dry, leave in a cool place for one hour to dry out. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4.

  3. Place the onions in a roasting tray adding the garlic cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and orange juice and zest. Mix together the coriander, cumin, fennel seeds and chilli and sprinkle a little on the underside of the duck. Lay the duck on top of the onions and sprinkle the remaining spice evenly over the duck. Add 1.5 litres/2½ pints of water to the tray and cover securely with foil. Roast for 4-4½ hours, then check for tenderness. The flesh should be easily pierced with the point of a knife.

  4. Remove foil, baste and return to the oven for a further 30 minutes to crisp the skin. Transfer the duck to a tray and leave to cool.

  5. Carefully skim off the surface fat and set it aside. (If making ahead of time pour off the duck cooking liquor into a container, leave to cool and refrigerate overnight. The following day, skim off the solidified fat and set aside.)

  6. Remove the cinnamon sticks and orange strips and place the cooking liquor and onions in a small pan and bring to the boil, lower heat to a simmer and reduce in volume until the sauce has thickened. Meanwhile carefully pick the crispy skin and meat from the duck into a large bowl.

  7. Add the reduced duck sauce to the skin and meat and mix well. Season to taste, although it usually doesn’t need any seasoning since it’s been brined. Divide the mixture into six patties and place on one half of a tray lined with parchment paper. Fold the paper over the patties, folding edges over to secure. Place in the oven and gently reheat for 10-12 minutes while you griddle the bread before serving, drizzled with some olive oil.

  8. For the slaw, mix the ingredients together, season with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper add lemon juice to taste. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

  9. For the popcorn, heat the oil in a large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Add the corn and cover immediately. Cook over a medium heat, moving the pan continuously until the popping has just about stopped, about 2-3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and leave covered for a minute until the popping stops completely. Carefully remove the lid, add the reserved duck fat, fennel seeds and chilli and mix well. The popcorn can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container.

  10. To serve, carefully lift the duck patties off the paper and serve sandwiched between bread topped with slaw, watercress and pickles. Serve with a bowl of the popcorn.