Crispy Smoked Duck with Lentil Salad and Beets

This is what happens after I spend a week working late night and not having any groceries in the house.  Actually what happens first is that I want things that are simple- like a steak sandwich or a burger (I might discuss those later this week). But then I get the urge to cook something great, and I crave something healthy and delicious.

Smoked duck is a great treat. It reminds me of bacon (dare I say that its better thna bacon?) and because its so rich a little goes a long way. We smoked this on the grill, and it caught on fire a little which resulted in the skin crisping up beautifully. It was a little scary- I’m not sure if i was more worried about the duck burning to a crisp or our deck catching fire- but in the end everything was ok.

Continuing in my quest to eat more lentils, I served the duck with a lentil salad which was flavored with some nice vegeatvles and aromatics. The trick with this salad is that you want to dice eveything very finely- the lentil should be the biggest pieces. Along with this went to beets and a nice dressing that carried the flavors throughout everything. This meal was SO GOOD. Like, you migt have to look around and make sure you’re in your dining room and not in a restaurant good. My mouth continued towater for a good hour after I finished eating.

Crispy Smoked Duck with Lentil Salad and Beets

  • 1lb boneless duck breast
  • 1 package hickory chips (alternately, substitute smoked duck breast)
  • 1/4 c kosher salt
  • 1Tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 oz basil
  • 2 cara cara or navel oranges, zested
  • 1 pound beets, trimmed
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp each chopped basil, thyme, parsley, and chives
  • 1 Tbsp grainy mustard
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 6 oz lentils, cooked and cooled
  • 1/2 jalapenio, finely diced
  • 1 thick slice red onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 red pepper, finely diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/2 plum tomato, seeded and finely diced
  • 1/2 orange, finely diced
  • 2 Tbs balsamic vinegar

In the morning or the night before you plan to serve this, combine kosher salt, black pepper, orange zest, and basil. Rub all over duck breat and allow to sit several hours.

Soak and prepare wood chips as directed.  Place in grill and set to low heat. Place duck on top rack of grill, away from direct heat. Close the grill lid and cook for about 20 minutes.Remove duck from grill and slice thinnly.

Meanwhile, fill a large pot with water. Add beets and lemon juice. Simmer beets until they are tender. Remove and peel off skin. Cut each beet into about 6 pieces.

While beets cook, prepare dressing: combine vinegar, spices, and mustard. Slowly add olive oil, mixing well to emusilfy (an immersion blender works great for this). Toss beets with about 2 Tbs dressing and set the rest aside.

To make lentil salad: Heat 1 Tbs olive oil in a small sautee pan. Heat red epper, jalapenio, onion, and garlic until onion begins to soften. remove from heat and stir into lentils. Add tomato and orange. Stir in vinegar. Chill until ready to eat.

To serve, spoon lentil salad onto plate. Arrange duck and beets around salad. Spoon about 2 Tbs dressing onto plate. Garnish with basil chiffonade.

Serves 4.


I am submitting this to Deb’s Souper Sunday’s (which now includes salads and sammies!) at Kahakai Kitchen.


  1. Your smoked duck sounds wonderful! I have never had it that way, but I want to try it! Not sure I could do the beets, I am not a fan, but I think the lentil salad looks outstanding. I love the flavors you used!

  2. mmmmmm smoked duck sounds so good – how did you do it? how long did it take?

  3. Doggy: I’ll try to clarify the instrictions when I get home later, but we bought some hickory chips meant for grilling and followed the package directions. Basically you wet them, drain the excess water and put them in your bbq grill. Light it up (keep the flame low), put the duck on the top rack, and close the lid so it gets nice and smokey in there. It took about a half hour.

    If you dont’ have a gril, there was an episode of top check where one of the dudes rigged a smoker out of one of those huge tinfoil roasting pans so you could probably google that.

  4. That duck sounds fabulous!! It’s been a while since I’ve had some. My mouth is literaly watering right now just by looking at the photo.

  5. Natasha - 5 Star Foodie says:

    I love the flavors of smoked duck. It sounds just incredible! One of the most memorable 5-star dishes I had was a smoked duck and I still drool just thinking of it!

  6. I love duck, but I don’t cook it often enough. I love what you paired it with too!

  7. That’s a plate of yum!! That crispy duck skin is gorgeous!

  8. Um nothing is better than bacon.

    Although I do love duck…

  9. thanks for the tip on making good lentil salad! I have a bag of black lentils at home I need to use, but I’ve never cooked lentils before!
    crispy duck…gorgeous!

  10. Wow…. the duck looks so delicious! Mom and I love eating duck but we’ve never tried to cook it, always eating it in restaurants.

  11. Jenn- my mouth still waters every time i think of it. lol
    Natasha- duck is always great… I don’t know what it is about smokin it that just puts it totally over the top
    Sara- Ii don’t cook it that often either… it can be hard to find, and then I just kind of forget about it. :(
    CG- think of it as duck bacon. salty, smokey, and ducky. :)
    Sophia- make them! This salad was so simple and it really is delicious. It benefits a lot from sitting too… my leftovers were fabulous!
    Selba- give it a try some time! Its really not difficult to cook at all.

  12. I’ve no idea about the taste of duck, but looks superb! I love the presentation and I love everything with green lentil.

  13. I love duck and need to cook it more. This salad looks amazing! Thanks for sending it to Souper Sundays. I finally got the round-up posted. Happy Sunday!

  14. Grilling Tips says:

    It’s a bit offtopic, but my antivirus/antiphishing software displays a warning when visiting this domain. I just thought to let you know about this issue. That makes sense for me. P.S. Do other blog readers also experience issues with Opera when visiting this blog? I couldn’t see some graphic elements with Opera

Leave a Comment