Warm Duck Salad with Cranberries and Walnuts

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

When duck is braised in stock, the meat is as moist and tender as classic duck confit (for which duck is cooked entirely in fat), but it is far less greasy. No oil is needed for searing because the duck skin has its own fat, which will be rendered into the stock as it simmers.

This recipe calls for duck legs, which you may have left over after preparing Seared and Roasted Duck Breasts with Green Peppercorn Sauce. They are paired with crunchy toasted walnuts, sweet and tart chewy dried cranberries, and crisp greens. Walnut Vinaigrette echoes the walnut flavor.

NotesOrder of preparation:

• Braise the duck legs.

• Prepare the Walnut Vinaigrette.

• Combine the vinaigrette, cranberries, walnuts, and duck.

Make-ahead notes:

The braised duck legs, with the meat kept on the bone, can be refrigerated up to 3 days; reheat in a little stock over medium heat.

The Walnut Vinaigrette can be refrigerated up to 10 days; whisk to recombine before serving.

Makes4 servings

Cooking Methodbraising


Total Timeunder 2 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Cooking for a date, Formal Dinner Party

Recipe Courseappetizer, main course

Dietary Considerationgluten-free, halal, kosher, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free

Five Ingredients or LessYes


Taste and Texturecrisp, crunchy, meaty, nutty, salty, savory, tart

Type of Dishsalad


  • 4 duck legs (from two 5-pound ducks)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 cups Chicken Stock or low-salt canned chicken broth
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ teaspoon whole allspice berries
  • ½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 4 cups mixed greens
  • ½ cup Walnut Vinaigrette
  • 4 tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 4 tablespoons coarsely chopped toasted walnuts
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Onion Confit


  1. For the braised duck legs:

  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Season the duck legs well with salt and pepper.

  3. Over medium-high heat, heat a medium skillet until smoking and sear the legs, skin-side down, until golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Turn and sear the flesh side 1 minute.

  4. Place the legs skin-side up in a pot large enough to hold them snugly and add the stock, spices, and herbs. Bring to a boil over high heat and then place in the oven for 1 hour. Reduce the oven to 375°F., turn the legs, and cook 30 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and cool in the cooking liquid.

  5. Remove the duck legs when cool and discard the cooking liquid, which will be fatty. Discard the duck skin and pull the meat from the bones (it will come off very easily) and shred it.

  6. To serve:

  7. Toss the greens with the vinaigrette, cranberries, walnuts, and duck. Season lightly with salt and pepper, toss, and divide among 4 serving plates.

  8. Variations:

  9. For Chicken Stock, substitute Duck Stock, or a combination of duck and chicken stocks.

  10. For Walnut Vinaigrette, substitute Sherry Vinaigrette.

  11. For walnuts, substitute pine nuts.


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