Cured Duck Salad
- 4 duck legs, hind quarters
- 1/2 cup kosher salt
- 6 juniper berries toasted and crushed
- 6 black peppercorns crushed
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 2 cups duck fat
- 6 shallots, peeled cut in half lengthwise
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon reserved duck fat
- 6 small white new potatoes cut into 1/2-inch cubes, blanched until tender (about 8 minutes),
- drained and patted dry
- 1/2 cup walnut halves, toasted
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1 cup tender green beans cut into 2-inch lengths, blanched in salted water, shocked in ice water and patted dry
- 1/2 tablespoon Spanish sherry vinegar
- Salt and pepper
- 1 bunch watercress, washed and dried
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 small slices sourdough bread
- 1/2 cup farmer1s cheese or goat cheese
- Farmer's cheese:
- 1 quart whole milk
- 1 cup buttermilk
- Salt and fresh white pepper
- Small amount grated lemon zest
- Snipped chives, chervil, parsley or whatever fresh herbs available
Rinse, pat dry and trim the duck legs (use the excess fat to render). Rub salt and herbs into duck legs allow to cure for 2 days covered in refrigerator. Melt duck fat and bring to 200 degrees. Rinse salt off of duck, pat dry and immerse in pan of duck fat, cover and cook for 3 1/2 hours. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Duck can be held refrigerated for several days. Before service remove duck from fat, discard skin (or use to make cracklings) and take meat from bone. Reserve duck fat.
In a small saucepan add halved shallots, honey and just enough water to cover; bring to a boil and simmer until tender and glazed, remove and reserve.
In a medium saute pan heat 1 tablespoon reserved duck fat, add potatoes, duck, walnuts, reserved shallots and toss until hot. Add chopped shallots, green beans, vinegar, salt and pepper and taste for seasonings.
Arrange in the center of plate, garnish with watercress tossed in olive oil and crouton brushed with farmers cheese.Farmer's cheese:
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