Duck Breast Warm Goat Cheese Salad

Duck Breast Warm Goat Cheese Salad Recipe

A dish like this duck breast salad can take on a rustic or elegant manner. The goat cheese is the perfect foil to the crunch of the walnuts. The chutney adds complex flavors, and the pan vinaigrette brings in just the right note of acid. This is a great preparation for duck, but it also works well with beef.–Charlie Trotter

LC Tastes Like Autumn Note

Seared duck breast. Wilted greens. Creamy goat cheese. Toasted walnuts. Yup. Tastes like autumn to us.

Duck Breast Warm Goat Cheese Salad Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 45 M
  • 45 M
  • Serves 4


  • 4 medium duck breasts, skin on
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Four 1 1/2-ounce medallions goat cheese
  • 1 large egg, lightly whisked with 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons mild olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 4 cups mesclun greens
  • Jarred or homemade fruit chutney
  • 1/4 cup snow pea sprouts (optional)
  • 4 teaspoons thyme leaves


  • 1. Using the tip of a sharp knife, carefully score the skin of the duck breast fashion, being careful not to cut into the meat beneath the fat. Season the duck skin with salt and pepper.
  • 2. Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Cook the duck breast, skin side down, for about 4 minutes on each side, until the skin is golden brown and crisp and the duck is cooked medium. Transfer the duck breasts to a cutting board and let them rest for 5 minutes before slicing each into 4 pieces. Strain the rendered fat from the duck breasts into a measuring cup.
  • 3. Dip the goat cheese in the egg mixture and coat it with the bread crumbs, making sure the crumbs are firmly attached. Place the canola oil in a preheated saute pan and add the goat cheese medallions. Cook for 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
  • 4. Reserve 2 tablespoons duck fat and place the remaining fat in a small bowl. Whisk in the red wine vinegar. Using the back side of a chef’s knife, smash 1/4 cup toasted walnuts into a paste of sorts. Add the nut paste to the vinaigrette and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • 5. Place the mesclun greens and the reserved duck fat in a medium pan and quickly wilt the greens over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste and fold in the remaining walnuts.
  • 6. Arrange some wilted greens in the center of each plate and arrange 4 slices duck breast around each salad. Top each salad with a goat cheese medallion. Spoon the duck fat vinaigrette and some of the fruit chutney around each plate and sprinkle with the snow pea sprouts, if using, and the thyme. Season with freshly ground black pepper.
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Recipe Testers Reviews

Recipe Testers Reviews
Testers Choice
Brenda Carleton

Jan 15, 1999

Elegant, delicious, decadent, luxurious, and visually stunning are some of the words I'd use to describe this dish. There are so many components here, but they all come together beautifully—the greens are wilted, the duck is seared to a perfect medium with crisp skin (with the bonus of its rendered duck fat, some of which is also used in this recipe), the goat cheese is dredged and fried, the walnut vinaigrette is balanced. There are all sorts of textures, from soft to crisp to crunchy, and tastes, including fatty from the duck and cheese (but not a greasy fatty—a glorious silky fatty), tart from the vinaigrette, pungent from the chutney, and earthy from the greens. This dish practically made me swoon out loud. Can you swoon out loud? It did make me close my eyes and say, "Mmmmmm..." audibly. After that, I was rendered speechless. Speaking of rendered, I now have a bit more liquid gold to add to my stash, which is magical thing. If you want a rapturous, mind-numbing, sublime experience, this duck salad recipe will not fail you. It's great for wooing, mending fences with in-laws, or making just because you wanna.

  1. ziege says:

    I really love goat cheese, it’s delicous. Most of the time I eat it as a dessert or use it to make a salsa.

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