Warm Duck and Grilled Apple Salad

January  8, 2011
Author Notes

Duck and apples are besties, and when they invite along some of their other pals it turns into a pretty great party. - Ginger's Kitchen —Ginger's Kitchen

Test Kitchen Notes

Slow cooking is the way to go for tender duck legs. And apples, cider, and Calvados transport us right into traditional Normandy. But this recipe goes beyond France—the mustard greens, pistachios, and drizzle of balsamic vinegar make this a dish of our own time and place. It was these additions that made for a lovely light supper, served with a Pinot noir and capped off with a snifter of Calvados. If you’re thinking that it’s too hard to find mustard greens, it’s too long to cook for a salad, or Calvados is too expensive—stop those thoughts right now! We licked the platter clean. —Greenstuff

  • Serves 2
  • 1 duck leg
  • 2 granny smith apples
  • 1/2 sweet onion
  • 1/4 cup calvados
  • 1/4 cup apple cider
  • 4 sage leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup pistachios
  • 2 cups mustard greens (try to get smaller younger ones - the 2 cup is after you have washed them and cut them into ribbons - sans stems)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • reduced balsamic vinegar to drizzle.
In This Recipe
  1. Heat the oven to 250. Heat the olive oil in a skillet, and generously salt and pepper the duck leg. Brown the leg on both sides and then remove it to a baking dish. Cut the onion into wedges, and half of one of the apples. Add those to the baking dish. Pour the duck fat from the pan over everything then add the cider and calvados. Lay the sage leaves on top and cover it all tightly with foil, and into the oven.
  2. You have probably completely destroyed your stove with fat splatters, you have some time if you'd like to clean up a bit. The duck needs to be in the oven for about 3 hours. You can also toast your pistachios in a dry pan and set them aside while you wait. Also wash your your mustard greens and chop them into wide ribbons.
  3. When the duck is completely fall apart tender - you can tell when you peek, give it a little poke with a fork - remove it from the oven.
  4. Heat the butter in a griddle pan. Cut the other apple into 8 wedges, remove the seeds, then griddle them on both sides until the are just brown but not mushy - you want to keep some texture.
  5. Assembly: Lay the greens on a platter. Take the skin off the duck and then use fork to pull the meat away from the bone - avoid the tricky little bones that want to go along. Arrange the duck and apples on top of the greens. Add the onions from the duck pan, then drizzle with a couple of tablespoons of pan drippings and balsamic vinegar and sprinkle the pistachios on top.
  6. We found that red wine and/or calvados are nice with this.
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