Monday, August 26, 2013

Recipe: Smoked Duck with Arugula and Marinated Fruit

Ever had smoked duck? It's been a while since I've had it. It's very tasty. Here's a recipe I'm sharing with you, thanks to Paulding & Company, a full catering kitchen based in San Francisco boasting vast opportunities for bonding and excitement founded by mother-daughter duo Terry and Tracy Paulding.

This is the perfect yummy, yet healthy snack - tons of flavor without gaining the excess weight!

Smoked Duck with Arugula and Marinated Fruit
8 servings as a salad course

About 50 cherries, or 24 figs, or half a basket of strawberries — or any good fruit from the farmers market
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1-2 Tbs. sugar

If you’re using cherries, pit them and cut each into halves. For other fruit, clean and trim as you like. Combine balsamic and sugar, then pour over the fruit in a bowl, mix and let sit in the marinade at least half an hour. Drain, reserving the marinade for the dressing.

For the tea smoked duck dry rub:

1 1/4 lb. duck breasts (approximately, most likely 2-3 half-breasts)
1/2 tsp. ground coriander seed
½ tsp. five spice powder
grated zest from one orange, reserving the orange
2 Tbs. sugar
2 tsp. salt

Cross-hatch the duck skin with a sharp knife, being sure not to score the meat. Combine the rub ingredients and rub all over the duck. Refrigerate at least ½ hour at room temperature.

For smoking:

Aluminum foil, a wok, a rack and a cover
½ cup uncooked rice
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup. loose black tea
2 star anise, crushed
1 stick cinnamon

Line a wok or other heavy pan with foil. Layer in the rice, top with the brown sugar, then the tea and finally the spices. Add a rack on top. Put the duck on the rack, skin side up. Over high heat, let the mixture start to smoke, then tightly cover the wok with foil and the lid, and smoke 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let stand for 10 minutes.

Heat a heavy-bottomed pan to medium-hot, and place the smoked duck breasts skin-side down. Turn the heat to low. Cook until well browned and much of the fat has rendered; flip and cook a minute on the other side if the duck seems too rare (you are aiming for medium-rare). Remove the duck to a cutting board. Reserve the fat for the dressing. Add any accumulated juices to the dressing.

For the salad:

8 handfuls baby arugula
1 shallot, finely chopped
½ tsp. dry mustard (Colemans)
The juice from the orange
The reserved fruit marinade
Reserved duck fat from searing the smoked duck
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Wash and spin dry the arugula, and place in a bowl. In a small bowl combine the chopped shallot with the dry mustard, orange juice, fruit marinade and a little pinch of salt and a grinding of pepper. Let stand a few minutes, then whisk in the warm duck fat. Toss some of the dressing with the arugula, but reserve a little for garnishing the plates.


Slice the smoked duck fairly thin, arrange arugula on 8 plates, garnish with duck and fruit. Drizzle on more dressing.

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