yields four servings
1 clove garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
4 tablespoons coarse sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons black peppercorns
4x4 duck legs, thighs attached
1 pound rendered duck fat
3 pears, peeled, cored and cut into large dice
4 cups simple syrup
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely minced
3/4 cup diced double smoked bacon
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup hazelnut oil
1/4 cup grape seed oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 butter lettuce
1/4 cup finely sliced radicchio
lemon, juice only
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup Roquefort cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup toasted walnut pieces
Duck Confit: Mix together garlic, bay leaf, thyme, coarse sea salt and peppercorns in a roasting pan. Rub the seasonings onto duck legs and arrange them in one layer in the pan. Cover and refrigerate for 12 hours. Preheat the oven to 250 - 275 F. Take out duck from the refrigerator. Melt rendered duck fat (or lard) in a saucepan on medium heat and pour over duck legs, covering them completely. Cover the roasting pan with aluminum foil, shiny side in. Bake in the oven for 2 to 3 hours, or until the meat falls from the bone. Remove from the oven and allow duck to cool in the fat. Place duck legs in an airtight container and cover with duck fat strained through a fine-mesh sieve. Can be prepared ahead up to this point; will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 month or in the freezer for up to 1 year.
Pears: Place simple syrup in a large saucepan. Cut lemon in half and squeeze juice into simple syrup and also add lemon pieces. Add diced pears and bring to a simmer for about 20 – 25 minutes or until tender (can be easily pierced with a paring knife). Remove from heat and allow to cool in liquid.
Vinaigrette: In a large fry pan heat olive oil over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and sauté for about 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally as not to brown. Add bacon and cook until crisp. Stir in brown sugar and remove from heat. Add balsamic and Dijon mustard. Mix in hazelnut oil, grape seed oil, and rice vinegar. Return to heat for about 1 minute and keep warm.
Salad: Divide greens between 4 large plates. Add a little Roquefort, poached pears and walnuts to each salad. Place crispy duck leg on top and spoon over warm bacon vinaigrette. Serve immediately.
Assembly: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Remove duck legs from fat, wiping off excess with a paper towel, and place on a baking sheet or in an oven proof fry pan. Put in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes to heat through and to crisp skin. Remove from the oven and keep warm. In a large stainless steel bowl, add salad greens, lemon juice and season with salt and freshly ground white pepper. Drizzle in olive oil and toss together. Divide greens between 4 large plates. Add a little Roquefort, poached pears and walnuts to each salad. Place crispy duck leg on top and spoon over warm bacon vinaigrette. Serve immediately.
bacon recipe courtesy of: Rob Feenie, New Classics with Chef Rob Feenie, Food Network Canada