There's nothing daffy about this grilled Duck Breast Salad with Hoisin Dressing from Weber's New Real Grilling (Oxmoor House, 2013), a celebration of all things grilling with countless "must try" recipes from king of the grill Jamie Purviance.
When cooking duck breasts there are two secrets, both of which Jamie's recipe nail. First, the layer of fat adds a ton of flavor to duck breast but is best when the fat has slightly rendered (i.e. to melt down) and lightly crisped.
To speed up the rendering process, start by scoring the fat as Jamie explains in the instructions and this helps speed up the process. Second, duck breast is quite lean and can dry out if cooked too long so medium-rare is an ideal level of doneness. By cooking the duck breast skin side as Jamie instructs, you are not only browning an crisping the fat but also allowing the breast to cook evenly without drying it out. Enjoy!
GRILLED DUCK BREAST SALAD WITH HOISIN DRESSING
4 boneless duck breast halves (with skin), each about 6 ounces, patted dry
1 tsp. Chinese five spice
1 tsp. Kosher salt
⅔ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup rice vinegar
2 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp. water
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. hoisin sauce
1 tbsp. peeled, minced fresh ginger
1 tbsp. sesame seeds
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
4 cups loosely packed mixed baby greens
3 scallions (white and light green parts only), thinly sliced
12 ounces fresh raspberries
½ cup slivered almonds, preferably toasted
Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat (350° to 450°F).
Score the skin of each duck breast on the diagonal in a crisscross pattern (do not cut through the breast meat). Season evenly with the Chinese five spice and the salt.
In a blender combine the dressing ingredients and puree until smooth.
Grill the duck breasts, skin side down first, over direct medium heat, with the lid closed, until the skin is browned and the meat is cooked to your desired doneness, about 8 minutes for medium rare, turning once (if flare-ups occur, move the breasts temporarily over indirect heat). Remove from the grill and let rest for 3 to 5 minutes. Cut the meat crosswise into 1/3-inch slices.
In a large bowl toss the mixed greens, scallions, raspberries, and almonds with ½ cup of the dressing. Divide the salad and duck evenly among four plates. Serve with the remaining dressing on the side.
Recipe courtesy of Weber's New Real Grilling by Jamie Purviance (Oxmoor House, 2013)