Mini Duck Salad

To better understand French cuisine, one must eat more duck. With its rich fats and explosive flavors, duck assumes a starring role in many French dishes. For this appetizer—a mini duck salad with microgreens and a drizzle of ginger soy vinaigrette on wonton crisps—the efficient chef will have roasted the duck ahead of time.

this appetizer looks great on the plate

Prep Work: Roast and Bone the Duck

Most duck sold in the US is frozen, so defrost it first in the refrigerator on a plate. When pliable, remove the neck and liver. Salt and pepper the cavity to taste. In a dry roasting pan, roast the duck at 300 degrees for 3.5 hours. Strain and reserve the fat for use in other dishes, such as a confit.

When cool, remove the bones from the bird. Save the skin, discard the fat, and separate the meat from the bones. The cooked meat should be easy to remove. Shred the meat but not too finely. From a 6-pound duck, a chef will have about 1.5 pounds of meat to work with after roasting and de-boning.


Duck Salad Assembly, Top to Bottom

microgreens and raspberries decorate this mini duck salad

Garnish: Enhance the drama of this dish with a half raspberry and sprinkle the plate with chopped parsley.

Dressing: Ginger soy vinaigrette

  • 2 green onions, greens and whites
  • 2-3 ounces peeled/sliced ginger root
  • 2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic (optional)
  • 1/2 cup lemonade
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • Wasabi to taste and pepper

Blend. Strain to remove ginger fibers. Drizzle over duck salad, whether regular sized or beautiful bites like these.

Duck: Chop the skin and crisp in a sauté pan over low heat in a non-stick pan. Heat slowly. Add the meat to the crisped skin to gently reheat. To promote crispiness, pour off and, if desired, reserve any liquid fat produced from warming the duck for use in other dishes.

Greens: Serve the duck and dressing on a bed of regular salad greens or step it up a notch and employ a tiny explosion of microgreens.

Microgreens, the caviar of greens


VehicleWonton crisps

  • Cut 4-inch square wonton sheets into triangles, circles, or whatever you want. Don’t make the vehicle for the duck salad too large to be difficult for guests to eat in a party situation.
  • Crisp the wontons in approximately 1/4 inch of oil on medium low. If available, use the oil from the pommes gaufrettes.


More recipes:

Smoked Salmon Roll

Winter Squash Soup


Chef José Dahan bio

This article first appeared on

by José Dahan with MzRAD
photos: Jeff Van Kleeck

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