Recipe courtesy of Michael Symon

Duck Pastrami, Pickled Red Onion, Mustard, Rye Toast

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 35 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cook: 15 min
  • Yield: 4 servings


Bull's Blood Salad:

For plating:

Pickled Onions:


  1. For boning whole duck: Remove the first joint of the wing and reserve for stock. Remove the legs and thighs. Remove the feet from the legs and add to the stockpile. Remove the excess skin and use for rendering duck fat.
  2. Remove the breasts from the breast bone. Trim any excess fat and add to the pile that needs to get rendered. Break down the neck and add to the carcass to make duck stock. Reserve 1 breast with skin off for the pastrami and reserve 1 breast with skin on for the roasted duck breast recipe. Reserve the legs and thighs for the duck confit. Reserve duck livers for the Dirty Quinoa. Reserve duck fat to render. Reserve carcass for stock.
  3. Place a deep hotel pan or roasting pan over medium-high heat. Place 2 handfuls of soaked wood chips into the bottom of the pan and top with a perforated hotel pan or cooling rack placed over the roasting pan.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons blended oil and all the reserved fat from the duck to a large cast iron pan and place over medium heat to render. After about 10 minutes, remove the solid fat (cracklings) and carefully strain out any impurities. If not using right away, allow the reserved rendered duck fat to cool to room temperature and keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
  5. Season the duck with salt, pinch sugar, toasted ground coriander, allspice, and peppercorns. Flip and repeat. Drizzle both sides with extra-virgin olive oil.
  6. Place the duck breast into the perforated part of the smoker or on the cooling rack and seal with foil. Place over high heat and smoke, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the duck from the pan and let rest.
  7. For the bull's blood salad: To a large bowl, add the shallot, salt, pepper, apple cider vinegar, whole grain mustard and whisk in the warm duck fat. Taste and re-season, if necessary. To a medium bowl, add the pickled onions, julienned apples, Bull's Blood greens, about 1/4 cup dressing around the sides of the bowl, and season with freshly ground black pepper. Toss to combine and taste.
  8. For the toast: Place a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons duck fat and 4 to 5 bread slices and add to the pan and toast. Remove from the pan and slice into croutons.
  9. For each serving, place the salad onto the middle of a plate. Slice the duck thinly on the bias and place over the salad. Garnish with croutons, sliced cracklings, and drizzle with more dressing.

Pickled Onions:

  1. For the pickled onions: Pack the onions in 2 (1-quart) jars and cover with enough water to come within 1/2-inch of the rim. Pour the water out into a measuring cup. Note the volume, pour off half of the water and replace it with vinegar. Add 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons salt for every 3 cups of liquid.
  2. Pour the vinegar mixture into a nonreactive saucepan, add the garlic, bay leaves, coriander seeds, black peppercorns, red pepper flakes, and mustard seeds, and bring to a boil over high heat. Allow the liquid to boil for 2 minutes, and then remove it from the heat.
  3. Divide the mixture between the jars, pouring the liquid to cover the onions and then screw on the lids. Refrigerate for up to 1 month.

Cook’s Note

Applewood chips, for smoking, soaked for at least 15 minutes