Cooking Class: A Twist on Tradition
Tired of serving the traditional turkey? Why not try duck? Though it's a seasonal favorite, this succulent alternative has a reputation for being difficult to prepare.
By Brian Patterson - L'Academie de Cuisine
Duck Salad with Ginger Crisps
This light dish featuring seared duck breasts is easy to make and full of holiday flavors.
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup hoisin sauce
- 3 ounces of orange juice
- 1 cup canola oil
- 3 cups canola or vegetable oil
- for frying
- ½ cup finely julienned ginger
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 4 duck breasts, 4 to 6 ounces each
- salt, pepper and cayenne to taste
- Segments from four oranges
- 6 to 8 ounces of baby arugula
- chopped fresh herbs (optional)
To make the dressing
- Combine the red wine vinegar, hoisin sauce and orange juice in a blender.
- While blending, add the oil in a thin stream. Strain through a sieve into a bowl, cover and chill.
To make the ginger snaps
- Heat 3 cups of frying oil to about 350 degrees.
- In small batches, drop the fine julienne of ginger into the hot oil and fry for about 1 minute.
- Drain and season lightly with salt. Serve ginger crisps within an hour of making.
To prepare the duck breasts
- Season the duck breasts with salt, pepper and a pinch of cayenne.
- Preheat a pan over medium heat.
- Place the duck breasts skin side down in the pan.
- Cook over low to medium heat to render the fat of the skin, for about 15 minutes.
- Once the fat has been rendered, turn the heat to high, flip the breasts over, and sear the flesh side of the breasts in the rendered fat.
- Continue cooking until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 120 degrees.
- Allow the duck breasts to rest at room temperature for about 5 minutes, then slice into thin slices against the grain.
To assemble the salad
- Toss a handful of greens with some of the dressing and fresh herbs, if using them, in a bowl and then place on a plate.
- Arrange the slices of cooked duck breast and orange segments over the greens and garnish with fried ginger crisps.
L’Academie de Cuisine | www.lacademie.com