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The Ultimate Duck Dinner

The Sporting chef shares his menu for the perfect summer feast
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  • photo by John Hoffman, DU
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Shredded Marinated Duck Salad

If you cook any piece of meat slowly in a little liquid, it will eventually be very tender. The shredded duck meat that tops this salad can be used for casual fare such as sandwiches and tacos. Goose breasts will also work as part of this light entrée.

Preparation Time: 20–25 minutes  
Cooking Time: 3–4 hours

Ingredients
  • 3 duck breasts, skin on or off
  • Heavy-duty aluminum foil
  • 1 large head butter leaf lettuce
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/3 cup toasted pecans (lightly browned in a 300-degree oven)
  • 1 cup navel orange segments
Marinade
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
Vinaigrette
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar 
  • 1 tablespoon fresh herbs, chopped 
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2/3 cup olive oil 
  • Salt and pepper
Directions
  1. Prepare the marinade by whisking together the first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl. While whisking, add the olive oil in a thin stream. Place the marinade and duck breasts in a resealable plastic bag and refrigerate for 6 to 12 hours, turning contents occasionally to coat evenly.
  2. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Remove the duck breasts from the marinade. Transfer the marinade to a small saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Set aside. Place the duck breasts in a shallow pan in a preheated oven and cook for 2 hours or until the internal temperature is approximately 175 degrees. 
  3. Remove the duck breasts and put them in the center of a large sheet of aluminum foil. Pour the reserved boiled marinade over the duck breasts and fold the foil up from the outside edges to seal. Place the duck breasts back in the oven for another hour or until the meat pulls apart easily. Remove the meat from the foil and allow it to cool. Once cooled, shred the meat and place it in a small bowl.
  4. Prepare the vinaigrette by whisking together the first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl. While whisking, add the olive oil in a thin stream. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Tear the lettuce into large pieces and place them in a big bowl with the cabbage, red onion, and pecans. Add half of the vinaigrette and lightly toss to coat. Arrange the salad mixture on a platter. Add the remaining marinade to the shredded duck and toss to coat.
  6. Stack the shredded duck on the center of the platter and garnish with orange segments.

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