Bolo's Duck Salad
- 1 (2 to 3 pound duck (skin pricked all over with a fork)
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons anise seed
- 3 whole cinnamon sticks
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- Orange vinaigrette:
- 1 cup orange juice
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon ancho or cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4 cups mesclun
- Sauteed pears:
- 3 Red or Bosc pears, peeled, cored and cut into eighths
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Peanut Brittle:
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup lightly salted peanuts, skins removed
- Peanut brittle, chopped finely
- Chopped chives
Make the duck/marinade: 8 hours to 1 day before serving, prick the entire skin of the duck all over with a fork. In a large pot over high heat, bring 6 quarts of water to a rapid boil and blanch the duck for 7 to 8 minutes in hot water. Remove the duck from the water and place on a plate in the refrigerator. Allow the duck to sit 3 to 4 hours. Remove from the refrigerator and wipe the rendered fat from the skin of the duck. In a medium saucepan, combine the marinade ingredients and cook over low to medium heat until thickened. (Do not boil. This will give the marinade a burnt taste due to the amount of brown sugar). Allow the marinade to cool then brush the duck generously with the mixture. (Reserve some of the marinade to baste the duck with while roasting.) Refrigerate 6 to 8 hours or overnight. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the duck in a roasting pan and roast for 15 minutes, basting with the reserved marinade every 5 minutes. Remove the duck from the oven and let rest 10 minutes. Remove the breasts from the bone and the thighs with the legs attached. Place the thigh/legs into a medium saucepan pan with 1-inch of water in it. Cover the pan and place in the 350 degree oven for approximately 40 minutes or until the meat falls off the bone. Remove from the oven and set aside. When cool enough to handle pick the meat from the bone and tear into bite sized-pieces. Just before serving, place the breasts in a oven-proof skillet skin-side-down and heat 6 to 8 minutes (depending on your preference of doneness, i.e. rare, medium rare). Slice the breasts very thinly on the bias (each breast should yield 3 servings). Keep the meat warm until service.
Make the vinaigrette: In a saucepan over high heat, reduce the orange juice until it forms a syrup. Let cool. In a blender, combine the orange syrup, vinegar, honey and chili powder (if using). Blend for 30 seconds. With the blender running, slowly add the olive oil until the dressing emulsifies. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour into a plastic squeeze bottle. (May be prepared up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated.) Bring to room temperature before serving.
Make the sauteed pears: In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter, sugar and cinnamon and cook to a light syrup. Add the sliced pears and cook until they are soft but still retain their shape. Set aside.
Assemble the salad: In a large bowl dress mesclun greens lightly with some of the orange vinaigrette and arrange on the top halves of 6 plates. Arrange the breast in a fan shape beneath the greens and place the thigh meat on both sides of the greens. Scatter the pears over the duck and dress lightly with the remaining vinaigrette. Top with peanut brittle and chopped chives.