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Duck Lardon Salad

A riff on the bistro classic seen in most French restaurants, we’ve substituted our duck bacon for the pork lardons. The smoky duck fat and rich egg yolk create a sinfully good dressing for this relatively light salad.

Recipe by Julia Jaksic
Yields 2 salads

1 smoked duck breast (see Duck Bacon recipe), unsliced
2 heads frisée
1 leek
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Kosher salt
2 poached eggs
Cracked black pepper
Crusty baguette, for serving

1) Cut the smoked duck breast into 1/4-inch strips lengthwise, then turn the strips and cut across into 1/2-inch pieces, creating lardons.

2) Cut the heads of frisée from their stems and then in half so you end up with pieces roughly 2 inches long. Rinse them well, since they have a tendency to be sandy; dry and place the cleaned frisée in a large bowl.

3) Cut the leek roughly 1 inch above the white stalk. Slice in half lengthwise and rinse under cold water, making sure to wash out any dirt between the layers. Cut across into 1/2-inch strips and set aside.

4) In a pan over medium heat, cook the duck lardons until crispy. Transfer the lardons to a plate lined with a paper towel and reserve the duck fat in the pan. Turn the heat to low and add the leek to the duck fat (there will seem like a lot of duck fat, but this will take the place of oil for the dressing, so do not discard any!).

5) Cook until the leek has softened, then whisk in the red wine vinegar. Add the lardons to the leek vinaigrette and season with salt. While the vinaigrette is still hot, add it to the frisée and mix to evenly distribute the vinaigrette.

6) Plate the salads, splitting the lardons evenly between the two. Top each with a poached egg and cracked black pepper. Enjoy with a crusty baguette.

From “Jack’s Wife Freda: Cooking From New York’s West Village” by Maya and Dean Jankelowitz. Recipes by Julia Jaksic. Published by Blue Rider Press, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2016 by NoamBennyLLC

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