Peter Gordon’s Confit Duck Leg Salad

Duck confit salad page 215 (3)

Peter Gordon’s confit duck leg salad with caramelized onions, almonds, porcini, cavolo nero and blue cheese is perfect for a sumptuously comforting winter dish.

“Confit duck legs, a wonderful French invention, are completely delicious and you can find them at most delicatessens or French butchers. They are un-boned legs that have been salted for a day or two then cooked very slowly in duck fat.

Once cooked by you at home they have lovely crispy skin and succulent firm flesh. You could serve roast chicken legs or breast (fillet) or duck breast (fillet) instead. The cavolo nero (which could be replaced with kale or spinach) and blue cheese purée is wonderfully good and a perfect match for lovely plump porcini mushrooms, or use another wild mushroom in season.”

• 2 confit duck legs
• 1 red onion, thinly sliced
• 1 garlic clove, sliced
• 2 tsp olive oil
• 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
• 150g (5½oz.) cavolo nero leaves (stalk removed), cut crossways into 2cm (¾in.) lengths
• 85g (3oz.) blue cheese (I used dolcelatte)
• 30g (1oz./2 tbsp) butter
• 150g (5½oz.) porcini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
• 8 sage leaves, shredded
• 30g (1oz./3 tbsp) almonds, toasted and roughly chopped

1 Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas mark 4). Line a roasting dish with baking parchment.
2 Put the duck legs in the oven for 6–8 minutes. By this point you should be able to cut and then gently remove the thigh and leg bones from the legs. Cut each leg into three or four pieces and return to the oven to crispen up for about 20 minutes.
3 Caramelize the onion and garlic in the olive oil over a medium heat with ¼ teaspoon of salt, stirring frequently. It will take about 8–10 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and cook until it has evaporated. Keep warm.
4 Boil or steam the cavolo nero in salted water for 3–4 minutes. Drain into a colander, then put into a small food processor or blender with half of the blue cheese. Pulse-blitz, adding hot water if needed, to give a purée – I prefer mine to have a little texture. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.
5 Melt the butter in a frying pan (skillet) and sauté the porcini mushrooms with the sage until nicely coloured on both sides. Add the almonds and warm through. Season to taste.
6 Break the remainder of the blue cheese into pieces. To serve, spoon the cavolo nero purée onto warmed plates and spread it out.
7 Lay the duck pieces and caramelized onion on top, then spoon on the porcini and scatter over the cheese.

Recipe courtesy of Peter Gordon

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