The Duck:
1 duck, about 4 ? pounds
? teaspoon salt
║ cup water
The Salad:
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
║ teaspoon salt
? teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons peanut or canola oil
1 tablespoon rendered duck fat
5 cups mixed salad greens
1 tablespoon reserved duck dripping


1. Cut the duck in half lengthwise, slicing through the carcass bones. Then cut each half into two pieces: the leg, and the breast with wing attached. Reserve the neck, gizzard, liver, and heart.
2. Heat a large skillet or saucepan (with a lid), either nonstick of heavy aluminum, until hot. Place the duck pieces skin side down in one layer in the hot skillet. Sprinkle them with salt, dividing it equally among the duck pieces, and cook over high heat for 5 minutes. Lift the pieces to dislodge them from the skillet, and set them in the skillet again, skin side down.
3. Add the duck neck and gizzard to the pan, cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 15 minutes. The duck will be cooking in a deep layer of fat, and its skin should be very brown at this point. Reduce the heat to very low, cover, and cook for 30 minutes more. Add the liver and heart, cover, and continue cooking for 5 additional minutes.
4. Remove the duck pieces to a large tray, and keep them warm until serving time in a 170-degree oven. Pour the fat, which should total about 2 cups, from the skillet into a bowl, remove and reserve 1 tablespoon of it for the green salad, cool, and cover the remainder.
5. Add the water to the solidified juices in the skillet and stir to melt. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the drippings to drizzle over the plated duck, and drizzle the rest over the duck pieces. 6. Make the salad: Mix the red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, peanut or canola oil, and reserved duck fat in a bowl large enough to hold the greens. Add the greens and toss well.
7. Divide the greens among four serving plates. Place a piece of duck along side each salad, drizzle the reserved pan juices over the salads, and serve immediately.
In this traditional Southern French preparation, Jacques Pepin cooks duck in much the same way as southern-fried chicken: deep-fried in a covered pot, so that the skin crisps in the duck’s own fat and steam keeps the meat moist. Be sure to keep the rendered duck fat to use for saut╚ing potatoes or flavoring soup; it may be refrigerated for up to two months.
Skillet Duck with Greens
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