Assiette de canard et melon

duck melon1

Duck and melon plate

This is a lovely summer starter, and can also be served as a main dish at lunchtime, accompanied by crusty bread and a bottle of red or rosé.

Please note that you need to chill the duck for at least an hour once it’s cooked in order to ensure easy slicing. As for the melon, canteloupe, honeydew or similar orange or green melons work well. You could even try it with watermelon.

The quantities below will serve six as a starter, four as a main dish, and will require two large serving plates. The plate pictured above is 1/2 recipe.

1 duck breast (filet de canard)
1 small melon or 1/2 of a larger melon
2 large handfuls arugula
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely minced
a pinch of salt
freshly ground black pepper

Score the fat on the back of the duck breast by cutting through it in a diamond pattern. Cook the duck until rosy inside, either on a barbecue or with a little olive oil in a skillet. This takes 5-10 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the meat.

Check for doneness by slicing through the breast (it’s better to do this too early than too late). If the duck is still red inside, return it to the heat for a few more minutes.

Place the cooked duck breast on a plate to cool to room temperature, and then refrigerate for at least an hour. Once it is cold, the duck will be easier to slice.

While the duck is cooling, prepare the melon. Slice in half, remove the seeds and pulp, slice the halves into 4-6 slices each and remove the rind. Cut into cubes.

Make a balsamic vinaigrette. In a small bowl, mix together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper. Stir well to blend.

Cut the chilled duck into thin slices.

Assemble the dish. Place the arugula in a mound in the middle of each plate. Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette. Arrange the duck slices prettily on top of the arugula. Scatter the melon cubes in a circle around the edge. Serves 4-6.


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