This beautiful French duck recipe is my modern take on a classic. It is easier to make for a small number of people and can be accompanied by one of your finest red wines.
- 2 duck breast fillets, without the bone
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp fennel seeds, coarsely ground
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
- 2 tsp butter
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- 10 ml Armagnac
- 30 ml fresh orange juice
- 2 tbsp strong veal glaze
- 1 tsp drained green peppercorns in brine
- 2 tsp thin cream
- 1 orange, segmented
- 8 roasted hazelnuts, each crushed into 2-3 pieces
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Resting time: 10 minutes
Preheat the oven to 150°C.
Using a sharp knife, score the skin of the duck fillets and season with salt, pepper and fennel seeds.
Heat the olive oil in an oven-proof frying pan and cook the duck fillets, skin-side down for 3 minutes or until browned. Turn the fillets over, then transfer the pan to the oven and roast for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, transfer the duck to a plate and cover loosely with foil to rest for at least 10 minutes. Reserve the pan.
Meanwhile, place the carrot slices in a saucepan with a little water, cover with a lid and cook over low-medium heat until soft. Drain the carrots, then blend to a purée with the butter. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the parsley. Cover and keep warm.
Discard the excess fat from the reserved frying pan, then add the Armagnac and orange juice. Bring to the boil over medium heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the veal glaze and simmer until reduced to about 2 tablespoons. Stir in the green peppercorns, cream, orange segments and roasted hazelnuts.
Cut the duck fillets in half lengthwise. Spoon the warm carrot purée onto 2 plates. Top with the duck fillets and spoon the sauce over the top.
• You can prepare the carrot purée ahead of time, but the duck is best cooked at the last moment remembering that, once cooked, the resting of the meat for 10 minutes will keep the meat juicy and tender.
Taste le Tour with Gabriel Gaté starts Saturday 7 July 2018 on SBS and then on SBS On Demand and finishes 29 July 2018. Visit the Taste le Tour website to catch-up on episodes, cook up his recipes or find out more about the series.