Savory Duck Breast Salad
With this featured recipe, we’re including both the treatment for your duck breasts, which you enhance with a blended spice rub and olive oil, as well as an apricot gastrique, which dresses your salad to finish it. Let the fresh produce section of your local market dictate your next menu. Fresh is always a good thing. When you combine that with free-range and organic wild game meat, you have something quite nutritious and memorable.
After dry-aging the ducks for four or five days, remove the breasts and legs from the carcass. Save the duck legs for another use (smoking, braising, grinding, or confit). Trim away any darkened meat and nearly all of the fat.
Lightly coat each breast with olive oil and dust the breasts with the rub. For best results, let them sit for at least a couple of hours or overnight to allow the meat to absorb all the flavors of the rubs.
After the duck has been able to absorb the rub through the olive oil, it should be cooked like a tender steak – hot and quick.
This can be done in a sauté pan or on a hot grill. If they are removed when rare, allowed them to rest for five minutes and then serve.
Thinly slice and place on the salad greens of your choice. The illustration at right showcases a mix of commonly found “baby greens.”
Place all ingredients in a stainless steel pot and bring to a simmer. Cover and slowly simmer for about an hour. Stir occasionally to avoid scorching. Adjust the seasonings with salt and additional lemon juice to suit your personal taste. You can puree the gastrique smooth or leave it chunky. Serve warm or cold. This gastrique will store for weeks while refrigerated or indefinitely in the freezer.
The slight sweet, acidic profile of this gastrique balances the rich nature of wild game like waterfowl. I'm sure you'll find a host of other applications for it, as well. – Live to Eat!
1 large red onion, diced small
1 tbsp. minced fresh garlic
1 tsp. finely minced fresh ginger (or 1⁄2 tsp. dried ground ginger)
6 to 8 tbsp. honey
8 to 10 fresh apricots* OR
18 dried apricots cut in half
1 cup orange juice
1 cup champagne vinegar
Juice and zest of 2 lemons
1⁄4 tsp. ground allspice
Pinch crushed red chili flakes (more or less depending on your taste)
Salt to taste
*cut the apricots in half and roast in a 300° F oven for about 45 minutes. This evaporates the moisture and concentrates the flavors.
Ginger and Citrus-Rubbed Mallard Duck Breasts
6 dry-aged mallard duck breasts, trimmed of fat and darkened meat (also be sure to remove any blood-shot meat)
2 ounces olive oil
2 tbsp. WildEats Ginger Citrus
& Peppercorn Rub
(or the peel of one orange; 3 slices
of fresh ginger, rough chopped; pinch
of allspice; 1 tsp. garlic; 1⁄2 tsp. black pepper)