Duck breast tacos with nectarine pico de gallo

Duck breast tacos with nectarine pico de gallo

Chris Middleton

‘Pico de gallo’, meaning ‘rooster’s beak’, is certainly one of the most popular salsas in Mexico. Made up of red onion, tomatoes, serrano chilli, coriander and lime juice, it’s a celebration of all the flavours we love, and refreshes with every bite. I came across a few riffs on this great salsa on my travels – some with orange, some with jicama, some with tomatillo – what I learnt was that the most important element is the uniform size of the salsa and the balance of acid to natural sweetness.


Quantity Ingredient
2 x 125g duck breasts
50g latin spice rub
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
50ml sherry vinegar
50ml agave syrup
12 Tortilla dough, homemade masa flour tortillas
or 12 store-bought tortillas

Nectarine pico de gallo

Quantity Ingredient
1/2 red onion, finely diced
2 limes, juiced
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
1/2 bunch basil, finely chopped
1/2 bunch coriander leaves, finely chopped
1/2 bunch chives, finely chopped
2 nectarines, finely chopped
pinch salt


  1. Score the skin of each duck breast diagonally six times with a sharp knife and coat evenly in the spice rub.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat, add the cumin seeds and duck breasts, skin side down, and cook gently for 5 minutes, or until the duck skin begins to colour. Turn the duck breasts over, add the sherry vinegar and agave syrup and cook for a further 2 minutes, basting occasionally with the oils in the pan. Remove the duck from the pan and transfer to a chopping board. Cover with foil and leave to rest for at least 4 minutes.
  3. Heat a medium non-stick frying pan over high heat. Lightly spray with oil and briefly fry the tortillas to warm them. Stack the tortillas, wrap them in a warm damp tea towel or taco holder and set aside to keep warm.
  4. To make the salsa, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix together well.
  5. Cut the rested duck into thick diagonal slices. To serve, arrange the warm tortillas onto serving plates and top with the duck and lashings of the nectarine pico de gallo.

* Tips

  • This taco recipe is also great with the pulled pork. Try pickling the nectarines as cheeks before dicing to give the salsa even more flavour.
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