Smoked Duck and Blue Cheese Salad

Jim’s European-Vacation-Inspired smoked duck and goat cheese terrine has made me simply crazy about smoked duck.  To be honest, I’m not usually a fan of smoked foods.  But not only have I become a fan of smoked duck, I’m also newly a fan of using the smoker.  Turns out, it’s quite easy, and it’s a a great excuse to dwell outside during a bustling, hectic sunday brunch at Millie’s.  So, inspired by these two new loves, I got my own duck breast and flexed my smoking skills on my step-dad’s smoker.  The result was this most enjoyable salad:

Smoked Duck Salad with Blue Cheese and Cherries

Prepare a smoker according to its specifications.  For this duck, I used roughly 4-in.-cubed-sized hickory, which had been soaking for at least 24 hours.

Start smoking skin side down, and approximately 30 minutes later, flip duck and carefully remove skin.  Allow duck to continue smoking another 30 to 40 minutes, checking regularly, so as to better enjoy the nice weather.

Blue Cheese Dressing

Ingredients

2 cloves garlic
2 Tbs. horseradish
1 c. sour cream
1/2 c. mayonaise
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. fresh thyme
1 tsp. worcestershire
1 lemon, juiced
At Least a cup, no more than 3 cups blue cheese, such as gorgonzola

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a food processor except cheese, and mix for about a minute.  Add cheese and pulse several times to break up any larger chunks of cheese.

When the duck had cooled, I sliced it thinly and arranged it over a bed of greens with some quartered cherries, the blue cheese dressing, and a little salt and pepper.  If I had been savvy enough to have walnuts on hand, I most certainly would’ve toasted them and added them to the salad.

We enjoyed this salad with a 1995 Lodali Nebbiolo D’Alba, which I strongly recommend.

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