Duck Confit Salad with Tangerine Vinaigrette and Spicy Almonds

From the Wine Enthusiast Pairings Book

Executive chef and co-owner of Bolo in New York City Bobby Flay likes to prepare Spanish-influenced nouvelle dishes with big flavors. This snazzy salad gets its spine from crispy confit of duck, and its zing from a zesty tangerine vinaigrette made with Sherry vinegar.

Note: To purchase preserved duck legs, contact d’Artagnan, the reputable purveyor of game and other specialty food products, either through their web site,, or by telephone at 800/327-8246.


The rich, nutty flavors of this salad require similar flavors in the wine pairing. Try Amontillado Sherry; recommended producers include Dios Baco, Sandeman and Osborne.

  • For the vinaigrette
  • 4 cups fresh tangerine juice
  • 2 tablespoons high-quality aged Sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • ¼ teaspoon chili de árbol powder
  • ¾ cup extra virgin Spanish olive oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • For the spicy almond brittle
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • ¾ cup lightly salted almonds
  • 1 teaspoon chili de árbol powder
  • For the salads
  • 4 cups watercress sprigs, stemmed
  • Tangerine segments, for garnish
  • Chives, chopped, for garnish

To make the vinaigrette: Reduce the tangerine juice in a saucepan over high heat to ½ cup and syrupy.

Add the tangerine syrup, vinegar, mustard, honey, and chili powder to a blender; blend for 30 seconds. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil until the dressing emulsifies. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into a plastic squeeze bottle. (The vinaigrette can be prepared up to 1 day in advance and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before using.)

To make the almond brittle: Grease a baking sheet with olive oil or nonstick spray, and set aside.

Combine the sugar and water in a medium saucepan and cook over high heat, stirring until it becomes a dark amber color. Remove from the heat and stir in the almonds and chili powder. Carefully pour the mixture onto the greased baking sheet and let harden at room temperature. When hard and cool, coarsely chop.

To assemble the salad: In a large bowl, dress the watercress lightly with some of the tangerine vinaigrette and arrange on 6 plates. Place a duck leg on top of the greens and garnish each serving with tangerine segments, almond brittle, and chives. Drizzle with some of the remaining vinaigrette and serve.

Published on December 18, 2009
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