"Recipes from the Chef's Kitchen"

Show 603

redDog Cafe

8301-a Grubb Rd.
Silver Spring, Md. 20910

Janis McLean - Executive Chef

Duck Salad
(serves 6)

The Salad
For the Greens...
1)   1/2 head of Escarole Lettuce - washed and broken into bite size pieces
2)   1 bunch Watercress - bottom stem portions broken off and discarded
3)   1/2 small head of Romaine - washed and broken into bite sized pieces

For the Components...
1)   6 Duck braised Duck Legs (see recipe below)
2)   4 oz. Applewood smoked Bacon - cut into match stick pieces
3)   1/2 bunch of Red Seedless Grapes

For the Vinaigrette
1)   1/4 cup of Port - reduced down to 1 tablespoon
2)   1/4 cup of Balsamic Vinegar
3)   1 tsp. Raspberry Jam
4)   3/4 cup of Peanut or Canola Oil
5)   Salt and Pepper

1)   To cook the applewood smoked bacon, place a large skillet over medium low
       heat.  Add the bacon and slowly cook until crisp.  Drain the bacon and set
2)   In the meantime, wash the grapes and pull the fruit off of the bunch and
       place them in a medium sized bowl.  Sprinkle with a touch of sugar, salt and
       pepper and also 1/2 teaspoon of peanut oil (or canola oil).  Then shake to
       coat each grape.  Then Tip onto a baking sheet tray and roast in a hot oven
       (400 deg f.) for 10 to 15 minutes until soft.
3)   To make the vinaigrette...pour the reduced port and balsamic vinegar into a
       medium sized mixing bowl.  Add the jam and stir with a whisk to combine.
       Slowly dribble in the oil, whisking continuously until all the oil has been
       incorporated.  Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste).
4)   To assemble the salad...if you have made the braised duck legs the day before,
       gently reheat them in a 350 degree oven until they are just warmed through.
       Place the greens in a large salad bowl and drizzle in 6 tablespoons of vinaigrette
       and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Toss well to coat the lettuce leaves.  Taste and
       add a touch more vinaigrette if you like.  Spread out six plates and place a
       large mound of the dressed greens on the center of each plate.  Over each salad,
       break apart one duck leg, discarding the skin and bone pieces.  Toss a generous
       amount of bacon pieces and roasted grapes over the top.

The Red Wine Braised Duck Legs
The dilemma of cooking duck is that the legs and thighs must bee cooked
long and slow, and the breast is preferable, to me at least, at medium rare.
Hmmmm...so I solve that by cooking it in parts.  That way I can cook the
legs in a slow simmering braise and cook the breast separately at the last
minute.  You can find packages of just duck legs as well, so you can skip
the breast portion of you like and serve just the braised legs over buttered
noodles or with wild rice etc.  The combination of the red wine and spices
give the duck legs and wonderful flavor.

1)   6 large Duck Legs (legs and thighs) - about 4 1/2 pounds
2)   3/4 tsp. Salt and Black Pepper
3)   2 Onions - chopped
4)   1 Leek - chopped
5)   1 Carrot - chopped
6)   1 stalk of Celery - chopped
7)   2 cloves of Garlic - finely minced
8)   1 bottle of fruity Red Wine
9)   Bouquet Garni (see ingredients below)
10) 1 Cinnamon Stick
11) 2 pieces Star Anise
12) 3 cups of Chicken Stock

Ingredients of the Bouquet Garni:
1)   10 to 12 fresh Parsley stems with leaves.
2)   5 or 6 fresh Thyme stems.
3)   2 Bay Leaves
4)   1 Big Leak Leaf  (close the leak leaf around the other items and tie it with
       a string).

1)   Place a large, heavy bottomed "Dutch oven" (i.e. Le Crueset or cast iron)
       over medium high heat.  Heat it for 4 to 5 minutes until quite warm.  Season
       the duck legs with salt and pepper and place them in the bottom of the Dutch
       oven (single layer)...you will not need any oil or butter in the pan as enough
       fat will render off the duck legs to do the trick.  Cook until golden brown on
       one side, and then rotate the duck pieces, searing all the sides.  Remove the
       duck legs and reserve on a plate.
2)   If there is more than 2 tablespoons of fat in the bottom of the Dutch oven,
       pour it off.  Turn the heat down to medium low and add the chopped onion,
       leek, carrot and celery.  Stir to scrape off any bits which may be stuck to the
       bottom of the pot.  Cook over medium low heat until the vegetables are soft
       and translucent (approximately 10 minutes).  Add the garlic and cook for
       another minute, until it is fragrant.  Add the red wine and turn the heat up
       to medium.  Cook on medium heat until the wine is reduced by half.
3)   Add the duck legs back to the pot, along with the bouquet garni, cinnamon
       stick, star anise and chicken stock.  Turn the heat up to medium high for
       just long enough to bring it to a boil.  Then immediately top with a tight
       fitting lid and pop it into a regular oven.  Cook for an hour and a half, until
       the duck is tender.
 4)   Remove from the oven and carefully remove the duck legs from the pot with
       a slotted spoon.  Strain the brasing liquid through a fine sieve.  If it seems
       too liquidy, return to a saucepan and reduce it down to two cups.
5)   Depending on how formal you dinner is...you may serve the duck legs in a
       rustic fashion...i.e. whole, on the bone, moistened with a bit of sauce.  Or,
       I like to take the meat off the bone and present it on the plate in a nice pile,
       with a bit of sauce, and a fanned out duck breast around it!!

Items served at the redDog cafe

Foccacia - Left
Asparagus Soup - Right

Good Eating!!!