Asian Duck and Citrus Salad

Ever since we learned how to grill and panfry duck breasts, a whole new avenue has been opened up to us in terms of cooking.  For a special main course salad, a little bit of that duck breast goes a long way. 

We take out a frozen duck breast earlier in the day and place it on our granite kitchen counter top.  For some chemical reason I’m not equipped to explain, that granite seems to defrost frozen chunks of meat faster than most other surfaces.  In any case—or alchemy—in a couple of hours the solid one pound ice block becomes ready to cook.  Yes, I suggest checking on it periodically and chucking it into the refrigerator as soon as it’s defrosted.

Once that step is done, the rest of it takes no time--and just a bit of chopping.  Here are the simple steps from Bon Appetit (January 2014).

1.  Cook the duck!
Here’s a link to an earlier post that explained how to grill or panfry.  Once it’s cooked to your liking, let it sit a bit before slicing thinly and mixing with the following. 

2.  Dressing.
Incredibly easy yet so complex a flavor emerges when you mix fish sauce with a bit of sugar, minced garlic and grated ginger, olive oil, and lemon juice.  If you want it spicy, you might want to add some sliced Thai or jalapeno chile (without seeds) or even just sprinkle crushed red pepper.

3.  Herbs.
You think you’re chopping up too much in herbs, but really it’s ok.  I’m not quite sure I used 2 cups cilantro and 1 cup mint, but I did use 2 thinly sliced scallions and still used a prodigious amount of cilantro and mint.

4.  Citrus.
The original recipe calls for segments from 2 grapefruits, and that’s what I used.  I could even see using 1 grapefruit and 1 orange (and skipping the sugar in the dressing). 

Either way, it’s nice to have some tartness going with the fatty duck and the fresh herbs and the Asian fish sauce dressing.

Mix it all up and you have a special at-home main course duck salad.


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