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Duck Breast Warm Goat Cheese Salad

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

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  • 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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