Smoked Duck with Belgian Endive

In this recipe only the breasts are used, and the legs can go smoked or raw to be used in the grilled duck with endive salad, gumbo, or in the poached duck. For smoking information see smoke-roasted squab.


  • 2 whole ducks
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • ½ cup whole hazelnuts
  • 4 Belgian endives
  • 4 tablespoons rendered duck fat
  • ½ pound french green beans, trimmed
  • ½ cup tomato concasse
  • ¼ cup reduced duck stock
  • 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon leaves, coarsely chopped


Separate the breast from the legs of each duck by slicing the duck in half diagonally, leaving the breast whole and the two legs in one piece.

Mix the salt, pepper, and thyme and rub over the duck breasts. Marinate two hours.

Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Rub the salt and pepper off the breasts, place them in a shallow roasting pan, and put them in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool.

Smoke the breasts for about one hour, depending on the type and the heat of the smoker (about 275°), but do not let the breasts go more than rare to medium rare. Remove the breasts, let cool, bone them, and cut off the wings.

Toast the hazelnuts in a 350° oven for 10 minutes, let cool, and rub off the skins.

Pull the Belgian endive leaves apart into “spears.”

Bring a pot of salted water to the boil.

Put one tablespoon of the duck fat in a sauté pan, put in the duck breast pieces skin-side down and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile cook the green beans 5 minutes and drain. Put in a bowl with the endive, hazelnuts, tomato, stock, tarragon, salt and pepper. Heat the remaining duck fat and pour over the endive. Warm the bowl over medium heat for 3 minutes and toss the endive with the other ingredients. Arrange the endive on hot plates, slice the duck breast, put in the center of the plates, and put the other ingredients on top of the endive.