This zippy salad is a great way to use incredibly moist and flavorful duck confit, which is cured in salt, then poached in fat. Tossing the salad with cracklings (duck skin crisped in a pan) adds superb crunch.
8 duck confit legs—skin cut into fine strips, meat shredded (see Note)
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 serrano chile, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons water
1 1/4 pounds baby Bibb lettuce, leaves separated
1/2 cup mint leaves
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
In a large nonstick skillet, cook the duck skin over moderate heat until golden and crisp, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cracklings to a plate. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat in the skillet and add the meat. Cook over moderate heat until tender and crispy in spots, about 7 minutes. Let cool slightly.
Meanwhile, in a mortar (or using a mini food processor), pound the ginger, garlic, chile and brown sugar to a coarse paste. Stir in the fish sauce, lime juice and water.
In a large bowl, toss the lettuce with the mint, cilantro, duck, cracklings and dressing. Transfer to plates and serve.
The dressing can be refrigerated overnight.
Duck confit is available at many specialty markets and at dartagnan.com.