A duck for dinner.
A couple of weeks back I was drafted in from London to Glasgow to help my dad with one of his dinner parties. My long-suffering sister Jess, who still lives at home, is the head chef in our house but every now and again she needs an extra pair of hands.
We wanted to make something which looked and tasted good but was easily put together on the day. Dishes which take a lot of pre preparation are ideal for when you (or your dad) have guests. In our house we always prepare everything we possibly can in advance so the meal itself is enjoyable even for us poor overworked chefs in the kitchen. This recipe would make a lovely Christmas dinner starter which can be prepared on Christmas eve.
You’ll have to excuse my rough measurements but everything is a little made up, added to or changed at the last minute which means some of it has to be done with your fingers crossed.
Our menu was as follows:
Tea smoked duck, pickled vegetable salad, pomegranate dressing and sesame coated pea shoots.
Pine nut and herb crusted rack of lamb, truffle and roast garlic mashed potatoes and minted peas and broad beans with a redcurrant and red wine reduction.
White chocolate parfait, raspberry and elderflower jellies, raspberry meringues and raspberry coulis.
Here’s the starter recipe. The rest to follow.
Duck Starter Recipe (serves 6):
2 duck breasts, seasoned with salt and pepper
1Tbsp of Jasmine green tea
1 Tbsp of Earlgrey tea
1 Cup of rice
A few sprigs of Rosemary
A few Sprigs of Thyme
A handful of radishes
2 Spring Onions
A bag of peashoots
A drizzle of sesame oil
The juice of 4 lemons
Plenty of Maldon salt.
1 Tbsp redcurrant jelly
1 Tsp Dijon mustard
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
The juice of one pomegranate
Salt and pepper
To smoke the duck add the teas, rice and herbs into the bottom of a roasting tray, lined with foil- leaving enough at each sides to later encase the duck. Heat this in the oven for roughly ten minutes, or until it starts smoking. Remove from the oven and place a the duck onto a rack and into the baking tray. Take the foil up and over the duck and seal the foil well all round, encasing the duck with the all the flavoured smoke. Leave it smoking for twenty five minutes- or longer depending on how much smokiness you want in the duck. Once smoked you can roast the duck breasts off using a pre heated heavy frying pan and placing the breasts skin side down in the pan for ten minutes in a hot oven Turn over and leave in the oven for around five more minutes. Remove and let them cool completely before slicing. This will make it easier to ensure really thin slices which are easier to curl and make your meat go further.
Make ribbons of the carrots using a peeler. Keep turning the carrot until all you are left with is the heart. Slice the spring onions diagonally and put these and the carrots into the lemon juice and cover with a good few pinches of salt.
To make the dressing reduce the redcurrant jelly in a small saucepan by about a third, then shake well with the rest of the ingredients. Seasoning to taste.
Toss the peashoots in a really small amount of sesame oil and then you’re ready to plate up. Spoon a line of dressing along the centre of the plate, roll slice of duck breasts, about five per person, and place them evenly along the dressing. Roll the carrots in the same way and stand upwards along the plate. Cut thin slices of radishes and place either side of the duck, topping with pomegranate seeds. Dot the peashoots in between the duck and carrots. Finally add dots of dressing and top with slivers of spring onion.