Miso contributes a sweet, nutty flavor to this tasty marinade for duck, punched up with ginger and orange zest. Substitute duck legs if you wish (they’ll take a bit longer to cook), or use large chicken breasts if duck isn’t available. Here the duck breast is thinly sliced for a summery main-course salad, but keep the flavorful technique in mind for use throughout the year.
- 4large duck breasts (about 2 pounds)
- Salt and pepper
- 4tablespoons red miso
- 2tablespoons light soy sauce or tamari
- 1tablespoon sake or mirin
- 1tablespoon grated orange zest
- 1tablespoon grated ginger
- 1garlic clove, minced
- Pinch of cayenne
- 1tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 4tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
- 6ounces small green beans, topped and tailed
- Lettuce leaves, for serving
- 1large mango, peeled and sliced
- Watercress sprigs, for garnish (optional)
- 3tablespoons chopped scallions
- Trim duck breasts of extraneous fat (or ask your butcher to trim them) and score the skin. Season very lightly with salt and generously with coarsely ground pepper.
- Make the marinade: In a mixing bowl, whisk together miso, soy sauce, sake, orange zest, ginger, garlic, cayenne and sesame oil. Remove 1/4 cup of the marinade and combine it with 2 tablespoons orange juice to make a dressing; set aside. Add remaining 2 tablespoons orange juice to the marinade in the mixing bowl.
- Lay duck in a shallow pan and pour the marinade over, making sure meat is well coated. Let sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour. If you wish, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day; bring to room temperature before proceeding.
- Prepare a bed of medium-hot coals in a grill, or heat a stovetop grill or cast-iron pan to medium hot. Cook duck breasts skin-side down for 8 to 10 minutes, until fat is rendered and skin is nicely colored. (See note.) Turn and cook on the other side for 3 or 4 minutes, until internal temperature registers 125 degrees. Remove from heat and let rest at least 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil. Cook green beans for 1 to 2 minutes, until firm-tender. Drain green beans and rinse with cool water; blot dry.
- Slice duck crosswise about 1/8-inch thick. Line a platter with lettuce leaves. Place several slices of duck on each leaf, along with a couple of mango slices. Arrange green beans over the top and garnish with watercress, if using. Drizzle reserved dressing over everything, sprinkle with scallions and serve.
- Keep meat at least 3 inches above coals to prevent scorching, and take care to move meat away from flames if dripping fat ignites. If using stovetop grill or cast-iron pan, regulate heat to keep skin from browning too quickly.