Duck Breast Warm Goat Cheese Salad

A dish like this can be prepared in a rustic or elegant manner with the same fabulous results. The goat cheese is so creamy, it simply melts in your mouth–the perfect foil to crunchy walnuts. The apple-mango chutney adds its complex flavors and a luscious mouth-feel, and the pan vinaigrette brings in just the right note of acid. The is a great preparation for duck, but it also works well with beef.–Charlie Trotter

LC 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 egg, lightly whisked with 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 4 cups mesclun greens, cleaned
  • Gourmet or homemade fruit chutney
  • 1/4 cup snow pea sprouts
  • 4 teaspoons thyme leaves


  • To prepare the duck
  • 1. Carefully score the skin of the duck breast in a grid fashion, being careful not to pierce the flesh. Season with salt and pepper.
  • 2. Place the duck breast a hot saute pan, skin side down, and cook for 4 minutes on each side, or until the skin is golden brown and crisp and the duck is cooked medium. Remove the breasts from the pan and strain and reserve the fat. Allow the duck breasts to rest on a cutting board for 5 minutes before slicing each into 4 pieces.
  • To prepare the goat cheese medallions
  • 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.
  • To prepare the vinaigrette
  • 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 purée of sorts. Add the nut paste to the vinaigrette and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • To prepare the greens
  • 5. Place the mesclun greens and the reserved duck fat in a medium pan and quickly wilt the greens over medium heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper and fold in the remaining walnuts.
  • Assembly
  • 6. Arrange some of the wilted greens in the center of each plate and arrange 4 slices duck breast around each plate. Top the greens with a goat cheese medallion. Spoon the duck fat vinaigrette and some of the fruit chutney around the plates and sprinkle with the snow pea sprouts. Season with freshly ground black pepper.
Hungry for more? Chow down on these: