Duck, Apple & Manchego Cheese Salad
The duck in this fanciful and flavorful salad is poached in stock without skin, making it succulent and low-fat. The same stock adds flavor to the creamy dressing. Those crispy bits of skin, or "cracklings," add a heavenly if not exactly dietetic crunch to the salad. Use as many as you dare!
1 whole duck breast, cut into 2 cutlets
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 ounces Glace de Canard Gold® dissolved in 1 1/4 cups hot water
2 tablespoons green peppercorn or Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup almond oil (or substitute lightly flavored olive oil)
4 generous cups mixed field greens
1/3 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted
3 ounces Manchego or Gruyère cheese, cut into matchsticks
1 tart green apple, cored and thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Salt and ground black pepper
Skin the duck breast halves, and cut the skin into 1 /2-inch squares. Combine them with 2 tablespoons of water in a saucepan, bring to a boil, then simmer until the fat is rendered and the skin is very crisp. Remove the cracklings and drain them on paper towels.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the rendered duck fat in a medium skillet over high heat. Blot the duck breasts dry and brown them in the fat on both sides, 1 minute per side.
Add the diluted Glace de Canard Gold® to the pan, cover, and simmer for 6 minutes.
Remove the breasts, cut them into thin slices across the grain, and return the slices to the stock.
Blend the mustard, garlic, vinegar, and 1 cup of the poaching stock in a blender and process until smooth. With the blender running, pour in the oil.
Before serving, drain the sliced duck. Combine the greens, almonds, cheese, apple, parsley, cracklings, and drained duck in a salad bowl. Add the dressing, season with salt and pepper, toss, and serve.