Wild Duck Breast Salad With Bacon Vinaigrette

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Washington Post

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Ingredients

2 cups water

1 tablespoon light or dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon maple syrup

2 tablespoons sea salt, plus more (optional) to season the duck breast halves

2 sprigs herbs, such as thyme or rosemary

4 whole spices, such as juniper berries, allspice or peppercorns

1 bay leaf

2 duck breast halves, skin removed (8 ounces each)

Freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon spice blend, such as Montreal seasoning with freshly grated nutmeg (may substitute seasoning of your choice; see headnote)

2 slices apple wood bacon, cut into small dice (1/2 cup)

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon coarse-grained mustard

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

10 to 14 chives, snipped or minced (2 tablespoons)

2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves

1 teaspoon minced sage leaves

1/2 medium cloves garlic, minced (1/2 teaspoon)

1 small shallot, minced (2 teaspoons)

1/4 cup olive oil

1 medium firm apple, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored and cut into small dice (about 1 cup)

Salt

4 ounces (4 cups) mixed salad greens

1 medium radish, such as a French breakfast or watermelon radish, cut into very thin slices with a vegetable peeler or mandoline

1 small (2 ounces) uncooked beet, such as Scarlet, peeled and cut into very thin slices with a vegetable peeler or mandoline (1/2 cup total)

1 small carrot, peeled and cut lengthwise into very thin slices with a vegetable peeler or mandoline (1/2 cup total)

1/2 small red onion, cut in half, then cut into very thin strips (julienne; 1/4 cup total)

1/2 cup unsweetened dried cranberries

1/2 cup pecan halves, toasted (see NOTE)

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