Warm Duck Citrus Salad with Blood Orange Glaze

Warm Duck Citrus Salad with Blood Orange Glaze
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I despise winter. But I’m sure you already knew that. And now that we’re nearing the end of February, I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But it’s still far too far away for my liking, it’s practically a pinhole, which is depressing, to say the least. So what else can I do in this scenario other than crank up my SAD lamp and start up a new kitchen project like this Warm Duck Citrus Salad? Kitchen projects are the perfect distraction and really, in my book, the only alternative to staring out the window and crying at yet another dump of snow.

Warm Duck Citrus Salad with Blood Orange Glaze

But you may be wondering how a salad is a “kitchen project”. Well, the salad portion of this Warm Duck Citrus Salad is not a project. It comes together in 20 minutes flat. It’s the duck that is the project. You’re looking at duck confit. Yes, the bistro classic is a totally attainable at-home recipe. You will have to involve yourself with a couple of tubs of duck fat. But if copious amounts of duck fat doesn’t scare you, duck confit is well within your ability to pull off.

So what does duck confit entail? Well, essentially you dry brine the duck overnight, then submerge it in fat before slow-cooking it. Once your duck is confit, the process of taking it from its fat bath to plate-ready takes only 20 minutes. Exactly the same amount of time it takes to mix up its accompanying salad. Now, obviously, the confit process itself takes a lot of time. But it can be done ahead, a month ahead even. Confit is a preservation technique after all. And the confit process is blissfully inactive, which is my favorite kind of cooking.

Warm Duck Citrus Salad with Blood Orange Glaze

The salad portion of this Warm Duck Citrus Salad is loosely based on the 1960s American Chinese classic – the Chinese Chicken Salad. In place of the fried noodles, I opted for sesame sticks. And in place of the mandarin segments, I went with blood oranges. But the two are similar enough that I must give credit where credit is due. I’m just not sure where to give credit as the origins of the salad are hotly disputed. The greens for the salad are shaved savoy cabbage and torn frisée, which provides a soft hit of bitterness to balance out the richness of the duck. And, of course, there’s avocado on this salad. I am physically incapable of leaving avocado out.

That’s pretty much everything you need to know about this Warm Duck Citrus Salad. It’s a fun, low-maintenance slow cook, that will impress the pants off anyone you serve it to. So, I suppose, be careful who you serve it to. If you have any lingering questions, I’m sure the lady in the video below will answer them. She likes to ramble.


Warm Duck Citrus Salad with Blood Orange Glaze

Warm Duck Citrus Salad with Blood Orange Glaze

This Warm Duck Citrus Salad features shaved cabbage and frisée accented with cucumber, blood orange, sesame sticks, and avocado topped with a glazed confit duck leg.
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Dry Brining 14 hours
Course Main Course, Salad
Servings 4


  • 1 Small Baking Sheet
  • 1 cooling rack
  • 1 small casserole dish preferably a narrow baking vessel with high walls
  • 1 Large Salad Bowl
  • 1 large oven-safe skillet


Blood Orange Duck Confit

  • 4 duck legs
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 blood orange zested
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • cup duck fat melted
  • 5-6 slices fresh ginger
  • 5-6 star anise pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 12-14 black peppercorns
  • 12-14 whole cloves
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp blood orange juice
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce

Warm Duck Citrus Salad

  • ½ head napa or savoy cabbage shredded, washed
  • ½ head frisée torn into bite-sized pieces, washed
  • ¼ cup neutral oil I used canola
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 2 scallions thinly sliced
  • 1 cup sesame sticks
  • 3 blood oranges cut into segments
  • 2 Persian cucumbers thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado thinly sliced
  • 1 batch Blood Orange Duck Confit see above


For the Confit

  • In a small bowl, whisk to combine the salt, black pepper, and blood orange zest. Set it aside.
    1 tbsp kosher salt, 1 blood orange, Fresh ground black pepper
  • Grab a small baking sheet and place a cooling rack on top. Arrange the duck legs on the cooling rack and pat them dry with a paper towel. Coat the evenly in the salt mixture, taking care to rub it into every nook and cranny. Transfer the duck legs to the fridge and chill uncovered for at least 12 hours and no more than 24. **
    4 duck legs
  • When your duck is done dry brining. Give the legs a rinse with cold water and pack them dry. Transfer the legs to a small casserole dish. Preheat the oven to 200°F.
  • Pour 4 1/2 cups of melted duck fat into a saucepan. Add the ginger, star anise pods, the cinnamon stick, black peppercorns, and the whole cloves. Bring the mixture to a boil then take it off of the heat. Pour the fat and aromatics over the two duck legs. Make sure the duck legs are fully immersed. *** Transfer the duck to the oven and roast for 6 hours. **** Take your duck out of the oven and let it cool to room temperature before proceeding to the next step.
    4½ cup duck fat, 5-6 slices fresh ginger, 5-6 star anise pods, 1 cinnamon stick, 12-14 black peppercorns, 12-14 whole cloves
  • Preheat your oven to 425°F. Place a large oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Take the duck legs out of the fat and shake off the excess fat. Place the duck on the pan, skin side up and let sear for a moment before placing in the oven. Roast for 10 minutes.
  • While the duck is roasting, add the orange juice to the honey and the soy sauce and whisk to combine. Set it aside.
    3 tbsp honey, 2 tbsp blood orange juice, 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • When your duck is done roasting. Take it out of the oven and brush the glaze on. Add several coats before returning the duck to the oven and roasting for an additional 10 minutes.
  • When the duck is done. Take it out of the oven and give it one more coat of glaze before plating.

For the Salad

  • Pour the neutral oil into a bowl. To it add the rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, and sesame oil. Finally, add the scallions and give everything a whisk. Set the dressing aside.
    ¼ cup neutral oil, ¼ cup rice wine vinegar, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp granulated sugar, 2 scallions
  • Place the cabbage and frisée in a large bowl. Add the sesame sticks and the dressing. Toss to coat.
    ½ head napa or savoy cabbage, ½ head frisée, 1 cup sesame sticks
  • Divide the salad across four bowls. Arrange the cucumber slices and orange segments on top of the salad. Next add 4-5 slices of avocado before placing a duck leg on top. Serve immediately.
    3 blood oranges, 2 Persian cucumbers, 1 avocado, 1 batch Blood Orange Duck Confit


** I find when you leave your duck legs beyond the 24-hour mark, they tend to get a little too salty. I prefer to pull mine around hour 13 or 14.
*** If you’re a little shy on fat, feel free to add a little olive oil to get you the rest of the way there. And yes, you can resue the fat to confit another round of ducks. Just store it in the fridge. You can also use it to make things like duck fat potatoes. 
**** You may want to confit your duck the day before you need it. And you can do that. You can confit your duck a month before you need it. As long as you keep it immersed in that fat, your duck is good and preserved.
Keyword avocado, blood orange, confit, cucumber, duck

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