The City Magazine Since 1975

Grapefruit-Marinated Duck Breast with a Bitter Lettuce & Grapefruit Salad

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(Serves 4)


For the marinade:
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup red grapefruit juice, about 1 lb.  whole grapefruits
1 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
1 Tbs. local honey
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbs. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper
4 Muscovy duck breasts, skin on


For the salad:
2 cups torn baby kale
1 cup sliced radicchio
1 cup sliced Belgian endive
1 cup red grapefruit segments, about 1½ pounds whole grapefruits
1/4 cup sliced green olives, preferably Cerignola
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts


For the marinade:
Put the garlic, grapefruit juice, vinegar, mustard, and honey in a blender and blend on low until smooth. With the blender running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour half of the marinade into a two-inch-deep pan. (Reserve the other half of the marinade to use as the salad’s vinaigrette.) Place the duck breasts in the pan skin-side up. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours and up to eight hours.

Remove the duck breasts from the marinade. Score the skin of each breast, being careful not to pierce the flesh. Place the duck breasts skin-side down in a cold, nonstick 12-inch sauté pan. Put a 12-inch round piece of parchment paper on top of the duck breasts to help them cook more evenly. Place the pan over low heat and begin rendering or melting the fat from the skin. Once the fat has been rendered, about 15 minutes, flip the breasts over and cook them skin-side up for one minute. Remove the duck breasts and let them rest, covered lightly with foil, for 10 minutes before slicing and serving with the salad.

For the salad:
Wash the kale and radicchio in a bowl of cold water. Drain and lay on paper towels to dry.

When you’re ready to serve, gently toss the lettuces with the remaining marinade. Add the grapefruit segments, olives, raisins, and pine nuts and gently toss again. Arrange the plates individually with the duck, as shown in the photo, or serve it in a large bowl with slices of duck fanned on top.