Good things from a small kitchen.
I was wondering what to cook for some friends coming over to dinner and with the apparent emergence of spring ( almost certainly premature and short lived!) I thought I’d start with a salad. I found a recipe online http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2012/sep/19/duck-and-fig-salad-angela-hartnett from Angela Hartnett but made a few changes that I’ll outline below!
Being a food geek I couldn’t just go a smoked duck breast and preferring dark meat I thought I’d buy some legs and smoke them myself in applewood. I cured the duck breasts for two hours in salt, brown sugar and pepper with a little thyme. Then I removed them from the cure washed them and left them in the fridge uncovered overnight to develop a pellicle so the smoke would flavour the meat better. Then the next day it was into the hot smoker for around 30 mins.
After the smoking the legs were golden, still very moist and of course had a fantastic smokey aroma.
When cool I took the skin off of legs ( this is later fried to give the salad a crispy topping) and shredded the meat into chunks.
From here on in I pretty much followed the recipe apart from using sherry vinegar in the dressing and also adding a few homemade croutons for extra texture.
The mixture of the sweet figs and apples with the smokey tender duck and sharp dressing was really good, definitely a recipe I’ll be doing again!