This warm duck and chicory salad recipe has a lot of varying textures and temperatures at play. It makes a great cold weather starter.
- 200ml low-sodium soy sauce
- 4 tbsp runny honey
- 6 star anise
- 1 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger
- 1 onion, sliced
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 1 garlic bulb, split in half crossways
- 2 mallard, cleaned and gutted (rinse the stomach cavities well)
- 500g jerusalem artichokes, scrubbed, or peeled if very dirty
- Several stalks of fresh thyme
- 2 tsp rapeseed oil, plus extra for drizzling
- 200g bacon lardons
- 100g walnut pieces (or use hazelnuts or pecans)
- 2 heads chicory, the base of the stem cut off and leaves separated
- 1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4. Put 3 tbsp soy sauce in a small pan with the honey, 3 star anise, the ginger and 50ml water. Bring to the boil and cook for a minute, then turn the heat down to a simmer and cook until the mixture becomes a little syrupy. Put a lid on the pan and take off the heat.
- 2. Put the remaining soy in a pot large enough to hold the mallards, then add the remaining star anise and the onion, carrot and garlic. Add 2.5 litres water and bring to the boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
- 3. Bring back to the boil and add the cleaned duck, breasts facing down. Turn the heat off and place at the back of the stove with a lid on the pot for 30-40 minutes. The heat of the liquid will poach the duck while you finish the recipe.
- 4. Slice the jerusalem artichokes thickly, then toss with the thyme and 2 tsp rapeseed oil. Roast on a baking tray for 20-25 minutes until cooked through and golden.
- 5. Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan over moderate heat and add the lardons. Cook until crisp and coloured, stirring frequently. Add the walnuts for the last few minutes to cook in the bacon fat. Keep warm.
- 6. To serve, remove the ducks from the poaching liquid and remove the breasts from the bone, as you would from a chicken. If the leg meat feels tender, remove it from the bone as well, though it may be better to add to the cooking liquid to make a stock for later use. Slice each breast against the grain into 3-4 pieces (or 6 if using 2 large duck breasts).
- 7. Bring the lardons and walnuts back to a sizzle, add the chicory and mix well. Divide among 6 plates or serve on a large platter. Scatter over the jerusalem artichokes, then top with the pieces of duck. Drizzle with the soy mixture and some extra rapeseed oil.
Per serving (based on 8): 403kcals, 24g fat (5.4g saturated), 30.4g protein, 20.8g carbs, 12.5g sugar, 2.5g salt
If you can’t get wild ducks, use 2 large duck breasts instead.
Not the easiest to match, but a glass of cool Alsace Pinot Blanc, with its subtle hints of apple and cream, works a treat.