Smoked Duck Breast, Tangerines, Snap Pea, and Red Onion Warm Salad

Textures and flavors abound in this versatile dish.

By author of Timber 2 Table Wild Game Recipes Print Recipe
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Simple smoked duck breast is a favorite around here. And duck goes perfectly with anything citrus. This recipe combines the two, along with sweet red onions, snap peas and rice, into a dish that can be served as a warm salad, a main course, a hearty side, or even in small cups or bowls as an appetizer. This one explodes with both flavor and texture. 

Serve the thinly sliced duck fanned across the top of the dish or blended into it.

When cooking skin-on duck or goose breast, I always do the majority of the cooking with the skin down. Even with the relatively cool temps of a smoker, cooking the breast skin down helps to crisp it up a bit. I like my duck rare, so cook times on my Traeger grill run about 1 to 1.5 hours at 180 degrees to get a 135-degree internal temperature on the meat. Flip the breasts over for the last few minutes of cooking time to finish both sides.

Smoke the duck breast skin side down for the bulk of the cooking time, then flip it over for the last few minutes.

The peas and red onions give the salad some crunch, the tangerine adds sweetness to the dish, and the rice makes it hearty and savory. Just use your favorite rice blend according to package directions or simmer 1 pound of brown and wild rice blend with four cups of chicken broth, a teaspoon of salt and a pat of butter until tender and fluffy, about 45 minutes. 

The sweet tangerine slices pair well with the crunchy onions and snap peas.

Aging your ducks for a few days improves the flavor and tenderness of just about any waterfowl, simple treatments like smoking allow the aged waterfowl to shine.

Aging waterfowl for up to seven days (weather permitting) improves both the flavor and the texture of the meat.


4 skin-on duck breasts from large ducks, or 6 breasts from small ducks, seasoned with garlic salt and smoked to 135 degrees

16-ounce package of long grain and wild rice blend, cooked to package directions

6 tangerines, peeled and sectioned

8 ounces frozen or fresh snow peas

1 red onion, quartered, then sliced

2 tablespoons sesame oil

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon Chef of the Future Orange Ginger Pepper Seasoning

Salt to taste

Sesame Oil vinaigrette for dressing salad


Cooking Instructions

Smoke the duck breasts and set them aside to rest (loosely covered in foil). While duck is resting, cook rice in a medium saucepan. At the same time, heat the sesame oil in a skillet or wok. Add the peas, red pepper flakes and onions and sauté over medium-high heat for 10 minutes or until they are softened, but still have a bit of crunch. Add the tangerine slices and Chef of the Future Orange Ginger Pepper Seasoning. Continue to cook for an additional five minutes until the citrus is heated through. Check for flavor and add salt to taste.

Slice the medium-rare duck breast thinly against the grain for extra tender meat.

Gently fold the vegetable/fruit mix into the cooked rice. Slice the duck breast thinly across the grain and either fold them into the salad or leave fanned on top for presentation. Dress lightly with a sesame oil vinaigrette or soy sauce just before serving.

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