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Duck Breast with Purple and Orange Carrot Puree
Winter is passing by slowly and spring gets in its place. This is a very interesting time of the year, not only because of the awakening of the nature, but also from a culinary point of view. At this time of year, both winter-stored and fresh spring versions of the same ingredients can be found at local markets. While the winter vegetables usually require a lot more cooking time, spring vegetables tend to get soft within minutes. In this dish I combined the last purple carrots from winter with the first orange ones of spring.
Noémi has not only sent me colorful beets, but also some purple carrots. In contrast to the so called “ancient carrot” which can be found at the local markets and which has a bright orange center, the purple carrots from Noémi were purple inside too with only a few white spots. This simplifies the preparation of pure purple carrot dishes, such as soups or purees, because the carrot “flesh” doesn’t need to be separated by its interior and exterior colors.
In this dish I prepared two different purees from the orange and purple carrots. Because the purple carrots had a more earthy flavor, I cooked them with ginger, while for the spring orange carrots I used some orange zest. For the duck breast I cooked a sauce from the roasted wings. I used three different seasonings to finish the dish: basil oil, roasted sesame seeds and cep dust. Cep or porcini mushroom dust has to be sieved to remove large pieces which could resemble sawdust. It works great as a spice and can be applied not only on vegetables but also on pasta or risotto.
Duck Breast with Purple and Orange Carrot Puree, Basil Oil, Sesame Seeds and Cep Dust
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 5 hours
Yield: 4 portions
50 g basil
500 g duck or chicken wings
1 parsley root
50 g celery root
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic
3 stalks parsley
2 bay leaves
1 duck breast (350 g)
250 g orange carrots
250 g purple carrots
2 pieces orange zest
0.5 cm piece fresh ginger
50 ml carrot juice
1 tbsp dried ceps / porcini mushrooms
1 tbsp sesame seeds
2-4 drops chili oil
freshly ground black pepper
For the basil oil
Wash the basil. Holding the thick end of the bunch, shortly blanch the basil in boiling hot water, then chill immediately in ice-water. Drain and cut off the thick ends you were holding. Coarsely chop the blanched basil and weigh. Add the double weight neutral oil and blend well. Leave for 3-4 hours in the fridge, then drain through a coffee filter. The resulting clear green oil keeps for 5-7 days refrigerated or several month in the freezer.
For the duck sauce
Wash the wings in cold water and tap dry. Roast in a large skillet in their own fat over medium heat until well browned. Transfer the wings into a large pot. Roast the diced carrot, parsley root, celery root and onion in the remaining fat until well browned, then add to the wings. Roast the finely chopped tomato until brown. Add some water and scrape off the brown parts. Add the liquid and the roasted tomato to the wings. Add parsley, bay leaves, 1/2 tbsp whole black peppercorns and garlic to the wings. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Cook in the oven at 100°C / 210 F for 8 hours.
Strain the liquid and remove the fat from the surface. Simmer over low heat until most of the stock has evaporated and the sauce becomes syrupy. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm. If the sauce gets too thick, add some water.
For the carrot garnish
Wash and peel the carrots separately. Cut 20 small cubes from both colors and reserve. Chop the remaining carrots separately.
Add the orange carrots to a small pot with 2 pieces orange zest and a pinch of salt. Cover with water and cook over low heat until very tender. Strain and blend into a fine puree. Add carrot juice to get a creamy texture. Press through a fine sieve. Season with salt and 1-2 drops chili oil.
Add the purple carrots to a small pot with the ginger and a pinch of salt. Cover with water and cook over low heat until very tender. Strain and reserve the cooking liquid. Blend the carrots into a fine puree, meanwhile adding cooking liquid to get a creamy texture. Press through a fine sieve. Season with salt and 1-2 drops chili oil.
For the duck breast
Wash the buck breast and dry on kitchen paper. Using a very sharp knife cut a crosshatch texture into its skin. Roast in a very hot pan on a few drops olive oil for 2-3 minutes on the skin side, half minute on the meat side and 1-2 minutes on the skin side again. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the breast with its skin side up on a plate and bake in the oven at 100°C / 210 F for 40 minutes.
For the seasonings
Roast the sesame seeds in a dry pan.
Blend the dried ceps into a fine powder and sieve to get a very fine cep dust.
Warm the purees separately over low heat.
Season the reserved carrot cubes with salt. Put a steaming basket in a pot and pour over 200ml boiling water. Add the carrot cubes, cover and steam for 4-5 minutes.
Add 1-1 tbsp orange and purple carrot puree on warm plates. Cut the duck breast in slices and add 2-3 slices next to the purees. Add some carrot cubes. Season one side of the duck slices with roasted sesame seeds and some carrot cubes with cep dust. Pour some sauce over the duck breast and add a few drops of basil oil.