Warm Duck Salad with Turnip Pancake

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There are many versions of duck salad—the meat served with red cabbage, with curly or Belgian endive, with a vegetable ragout, with ham and tongue or other meats—but all of them, which I first started cooking in the early seventies at Chez Panisse, were inspired by the system at the Tour d’Argent in Paris, where they would serve the breast in a sauce first, followed (since they take longer to cook) by the grilled duck legs accompanied by a salad of curly endive.

Ingredients

  • 1 whole duck breast, baked until barely pink
  • 2 duck livers
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 large turnips, peeled inch deep
  • 6 tablespoons rendered duck fat or butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • cup walnut, hazelnut, or olive oil
  • ½ pound French green beans, ends trimmed
  • 1 large curly endive
  • ¼ cup tomato concasse

Method

Remove the skin from the cooked duck and save for another dish. Bone the breast and pull the meat apart with your hands into pieces 2 inches long and inch wide.

Cut the sinews out of the livers, season the livers, and set aside.

Grate or julienne the turnips in the food processor. Rinse the turnips under cold water and wring dry in a towel.

Put a pot of salted water on to boil. Heat the oven to 300°F.

Season the turnips and divide into 4 parts; flatten each part on waxed paper into a little pancake.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the duck fat in a crêpe pan over medium heat and slide in a turnip pancake. Cook until the bottom is golden and crisp, about 5 minutes. Flip the pancake over to cook another 3 minutes. Cook the remaining pancakes this way and keep hot in the oven. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons duck fat in a pan over high heat. Add the livers and cook on each side for 1 minute.

Meanwhile, make a dressing by dissolving salt and pepper in the lemon juice and whisking in the oil.

Cook the beans in the boiling water for 5 minutes and drain.

Put the pancakes on warm plates. Toss the curly endive in a bowl with half the dressing and place on top of the pancakes. Add half the remaining dressing to the bowl and toss the hot beans in that. Put the beans around the pancakes and endive. Slice the livers and put them on the plate. Toss the duck in the remaining dressing and put the duck on the endive. Mix the tomato in the dressing left in the bowl and put in 3 mounds on each of the plates.

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