Grilled Duck Leg with Endive Salad

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Use whatever bitter greens you have on hand, mixing them, if you like. The richness of the duck is best balanced with the clean, biting taste of curly endive, Belgian endive, radicchio, escarole, watercress, rocket (arugula), and others. The combination of nut oils like hazelnut or walnut with the various forms of endive is very special and works well with duck.

Ingredients

  • 4 duck legs
  • 2 duck livers
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons Madeira or dry sherry
  • 16 small slices bread for croutons
  • 3 tablespoons tomato concasse
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup hazelnut or walnut oil
  • 1 large curly endive, picked, washed, spun-dried
  • ½ cup hazelnuts, toasted, skinned
  • 4 tablespoons duck cracklings

Method

Turn the legs skin side down. Cut along each thigh bone and remove it.

Heat the oven to 325°F.

Remove the sinews from the duck livers. Season and then sauté over high heat in the butter for 3 minutes. Pour in the Madeira or sherry and cook another minute. Puree the liver and juices in a food processor or through a food mill until smooth; then set aside.

Bake the bread for 10 minutes and then let cool.

Heat the grill or broiler. Season the duck legs and grill or broil for 5 minutes on the flesh side and 8 minutes on the skin side.

Spread the liver puree on the croutons, put ½ teaspoon of the tomato concasse on each crouton, and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Dissolve salt and pepper in the lemon juice and whisk in the oil. Toss the endive and hazelnuts in the dressing. Put the salad on warm plates, a duck leg on top of each salad, the liver croutons around the salads, and the cracklings on top of the endive.

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