Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Warm duck over microgreens


We’ve been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to make a warm duck salad with microgreens straight from the “recession garden” in our back yard. Several of our early crop greens are in need of thinning, which is the perfect opportunity to make this.

The baby greens I harvested from the garden were all delicate and individually flavored. This was “wet your pants” good. Peter and I agreed to repeat this in a few days (with the other half duck breast we have in the freezer).

I was initially inspired by Ina Garten, although I had to adapt her recipe along with another one by Melissa Clark from the NY Times. The blending of the two, along with my own impositions, was just about perfect.

Ina’s idea was to roast the duck breasts and then remove the skin and underlying fat layer. I’m going to render out the fat a la Melissa. My dressing is a blend of the two ladies’ ideas.

Working from memory, I did something neither lady called for. It had to do with the spices. I mixed together some dried oregano and salt and pepper and rubbed it into the duck skin. Then I consulted the recipe – oops. That wasn’t what was called for. So I brushed off some of the oregano (the part that got into the slit skin stayed) and proceeded with the below. The result was so good that I’ve incorporated a bit of oregano into the plan.

A word about the burner setting of medium-low. We have an electric range with the knobs labeled from 1 to 10. To me medium-low is 3 ½. 4 was too aggressive. The accompaniment, by the way, is quinoa cooked in chicken stock.

Warm duck over micro-greens
1 duck breast
½ tsp dried oregano
½ cumin
½ tsp chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
microgreens (including, but not limited to) mizuna, kale, mustard, curly endive, arugula
1 shallot or scallion, finely chopped
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
lemon zest
Rendered fat from the duck

Score the skin of the duck without cutting into the meat. In a small bowl mix together oregano, cumin, chili powder and some salt and pepper (to taste). Rub the dry mix into the skin side of the duck.

Put a cast iron skillet on the stove over medium-low heat. When warmed, add 1 tsp olive oil. Add the duck, skin side down. Render the fat for about 10 minutes, checking to be sure it does not burn.

In the meantime, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

When the fat on the duck has been sufficiently rendered, turn it skin side up and continue to sauté for 1 minute. Turn again and put the pan into the oven for 5 – 7 minutes, until medium rare.

Remove to a plate.

In a small bowl, whisk together shallot (or scallion), vinegar, zest, salt and pepper, and 2 tbsp of rendered (and flavored) duck fat. Dress the greens with this mixture, slice the duck very thin, place on the greens and serve.

1 comment:

Jenn said...

LOL.. wet your pants good.. that's funny! But oh, how I know that kind of good! The duck looks wonderful and all those yummy microgreens. I'm envious...your dinner turned out much better then ours! :)

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