Duck Salad with Tangerines and Raspberry Vinaigrette (AIP)

Duck is one of those foods that it seems most people think is only for special occasions. But it doesn’t have to be. You don’t have to  start with a whole duck, you can purchase just the duck breast from your butcher. Did you know that duck is actually considered a red meat? That means that it is safer to eat cooked medium rare like you might a steak. It has a very rich flavor and goes well with the raspberry vinaigrette and fresh tangerines used in this salad. When cooking the breast be sure to get the skin nice and crispy, it adds another layer to this delicious salad. Our Raspberry Vinaigrette recipe is very simple. Traditionally it would have a little ground mustard in it to emulsify the ingredients, but that’s not AIP. We used a little bit of honey to pull it all together making this delicious AIP Raspberry Vinaigrette. This would be a great dish to serve for a casual dinner with friends.

Duck Salad with Tangerines and Raspberry Vinaigrette
Serves 4
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Total Time
3 hr
Total Time
3 hr
  1. 1 whole duck (or substitute 4 duck breasts)
  2. 2 tsp. Sea salt
  3. 2 T. Fresh thyme
  4. 1 whole garlic clove
  5. 1 pound of mixed greens more on the bitter side, like arugula, chickory, radicchio (best yet, make your own mixture)
  6. 8 radishes, sliced thinly
  7. 4 tangerines, clementines or sweet oranges, peeled and supremes removed (description below)
  8. 1 can whole water chestnuts (drained, rinsed and sliced)
Raspberry Vinaigrette
  1. 2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
  2. 1/4 cup olive oil
  3. 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  4. ¼ cup water
  5. 2 T. honey
  6. 1 tsp. sea salt
Raspberry Vinaigrette
  1. Using a blender or immersion blender, puree all the above ingredients until completely smooth. Taste and adjust salt or honey if needed.
The Duck
  1. Remove the duck from it’s packaging and dry it well, removing giblets. Using a boning knife run it down the center of the ribcage trimming carefully along the spine to remove the breasts from the frame. Set the two duck breasts aside. Now you will cut through the leg joint to remove the thigh/leg combination from each side of the frame. To cook the legs, preheat the oven to 300. Put the two leg/thighs into a small baking dish with tall sides. Season with salt and thyme leaves. If you are lucky enough to have some duck fat laying around, melt it and pour over the duck legs submerging them at least ¾ of the way. If you don’t have duck fat, use pork lard, bacon fat, olive oil or avocado oil to submerge the legs. Cover with foil and bake at 300 for 3 hours or until extremely tender and cooked all the way through. Remove from fat and drain on a rack. Trim all excess skin and fat off the carcass and clean up the edges of the legs and breasts. You can render all of the delicious duck fat out of the skin by putting it in a heavy saute pan and cook it over low heat, stirring occasionally. This will melt the fat out of the skin. Remove the golden brown crispy-rendered skin cracklins, drain on paper towel, sprinkle with some sea salt, and you have a delicious snack. Once the fat has cooled down you can put it in a container in the refrigerator to use for cooking. Duck fat roasted potatoes are great.
  2. For the breasts, score the skin side of each breast in a criss cross fashion, being careful to cut only through the fat and not through the meat. Season each breast well with salt on both sides. Place into a cold pan and put over low heat. You want to render the fat out of the skin which will take about 15 minutes. As the fat melts out of the skin, pour it off into a clean container and save it to cook with in the future. Once you have a very crisp, golden brown skin, make sure there is still a little duck fat left in the pan, then flip the breast over meat side down, add a little thyme and the garlic clove to the pan. Turn heat up higher and cook the duck meat side down for 2-3 minutes. You will end up with a nice medium rare duck breast. Let the breasts rest on a cutting board for at least 5 minutes before slicing.
  3. To assemble the salads, arrange a colorful variety of salad greens on four plates, sprinkle with some of the radishes, water chestnuts and tangerine supremes. Drizzle the raspberry vinaigrette over each salad.
  4. Slice the duck breast against the grain. Remove the duck leg meat from the bones and keep it as intact as you can. Divide the thigh meat over the four salads and fan out the breast meat over the top of it.
  5. *An orange supreme is the juicy inside of the orange segment without any of the pith or peel. To get the “supremes” out of oranges, cut the top and bottom ½” off the orange, then stand your orange upright on the cutting board. Starting at the top of the orange, guide your chef’s knife down to the base, curving the knife with the shape of the fruit. Continue all the way around the orange until all of the rind and pith is removed. If you have white pith left on the outside of the orange, go back around and slice it off. Once all the pith is removed, you’ll be able to see the membranes between each orange wedge. Use a paring knife to slice along the inside of the membranes. Lift out your supremed orange wedges and place them in a bowl.
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