Serves 8

 

Ingredients

Duck jus

2.6kg duck carcasses, cut into 5cm pieces

4tbsp duck fat

900g sliced onions

450g diced carrots

450g diced celery

450g diced leeks

450g diced celery root

5tbsp tomato paste

16oz port

24oz red wine

10 sprigs thyme

2 bay leaves

25 peppercorns

1.36kg chicken feet

10l chicken stock

 

Duck spice

227g szechuan peppercorns

227g dried coriander seeds

113g cumin seeds

113g dried lavender flowers

 

Roasted ducks

2 muscovy ducks, head on

450g lavender honey

Salt, to season

Duck spice

 

Duck sauce

3 lemons

4 limes

2 oranges

1kg sugar

3 pods star anise

1 tbsp butter

450g duck jus

½ tsp raspberry vinegar

½ tsp salt

 

Compressed peaches

3 very firm but ripe peaches

59ml sauternes

 

Peach confit

8 large peaches

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp lime juice

Salt

Black pepper

1 tbsp confectioners’ sugar

 

Fennel tears

2 fennel bulbs

118ml white wine

2 tbsp pernod

3 pods star anise

¼ tsp fennel seeds

4 pieces lemon peel

½ tsp salt

 

Fennel and potato purée

57g fennel fronds

2 tbsp butter

450g fennel, diced (¼ inch)

450g la ratte fingerling potatoes, peeled and diced (¼ inch)

1½ tsp salt

 

To finish

Brown butter

Fleur de sel

 

Method

Duck jus

Preheat the oven to 190c. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Spread the duck bones in a single layer on the baking sheets and roast the bones in the oven until golden brown, 1-1hour 15 minutes, turning the bones over once after 20 minutes. Melt the duck fat in a 22l stockpot over high heat. Sautée the onions, carrots, celery, leeks and celery root in the duck fat until they caramelise, about 7-10 minutes. Add the tomato paste and sautée until caramelised, 5-7 minutes. Add the port and reduce by half. Add the red wine and reduce to syrup consistency. Make a sachet by tying the thyme, bay leaves, and peppercorns in cheesecloth. Add the chicken feet, carcass bones, and sachet to the stockpot and cover with the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and skim the stock of all impurities and fats that rise to the top. Simmer, uncovered, over low heat for 5 hours, skimming every 30 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh chinois and reduce to 1l. Strain again and chill over ice.

 

Duck spice

In a spice grinder, grind the szechuan peppercorns, coriander, and cumin until roughly ground. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the lavender flowers.

 

Roasted ducks

Dry the ducks completely with paper towels. Use meat hooks to hang them by their necks in a refrigerator with good air circulation. Allow to age and dry for a minimum of 8 days and a maximum of 14 days. When ready to cook, preheat a convection oven to 190c. Remove and discard the neck, feet, and wing tips, and truss the ducks with butcher’s twine. Rub thoroughly with honey, being sure to coat all of the skin. Season with salt, then coat evenly with the duck spice. Place on a roasting rack and roast for 8 minutes. Rotate the duck and return it to the oven for another 8-9 minutes. Remove from the oven, and rest for 12-15 minutes before carving.

 

Duck sauce

Zest and juice the lemons, limes, and oranges. Combine the juices in one bowl and the zests in another. Place the sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Caramelise to a very deep amber colour. Add the star anise and the citrus juices to stop the cooking. Reduce by ¾, or until thick and syrupy. Add the zest and butter and chill. In a separate pot, heat the duck jus and add 1½ tablespoons of the citrus syrup. Season with the vinegar and salt.

 

Compressed peaches

Cut the peaches into quarters and slice each quarter into thin half-moons. Arrange the peaches in a sousvide bag and add the sauternes. Vacuum-seal and allow them to marinate. Remove them from the bag when ready to serve.

Peach confit

Preheat the oven to 93c. Cut each peach into quarters. Slice cut each quarter into 3 ½-moons. You should have 12 wedges per peach. Dress with olive oil, lime juice, and salt. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the wedges on the parchment and sprinkle with pepper and the confectioners’ sugar. Bake for 45 minutes.

 

Fennel tears

Pull apart the fennel petals and trim the tops and the bottoms to make even widths. Cut them into 3.8x1.9cm isosceles triangles. Using a paring knife, round of the bottoms to form tear shapes. Trim them to ¹/8” thickness. Combine the white wine, pernod, star anise, fennel seeds, and lemon peel in a small saucepan over medium heat and reduce by half. Add ¼ cup water and the salt. Place the fennel tears and ¼ cup of the cooking liquid in a sousvide bag. Vacuum-seal and steam at 90c for 35 minutes. Transfer to a bowl of ice water. Once cool, remove the fennel tears from the bag.

 

Fennel and potato purée

Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the fennel fronds, cooking for a few seconds, until just wilted. Transfer to a bowl of ice water and, once cold, drain. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the diced fennel and potatoes and sweat until soft and translucent, about 15 minutes. Add 2 ½ cups water and simmer for 25 minutes. Purée the cooked fennel and potatoes in a blender until smooth. Blend in the blanched fennel fronds and season with the salt. Pass the purée through a fine-mesh tamis and chill over ice.

 

To finish

Warm the fennel and potato purée in a small saucepan over low heat. Carve the breasts off of the roasted ducks. Slice into even pieces and brush with brown butter and season with fleur de sel. Put 2 duck slices on a plate. Spoon the fennel and potato purée onto the plate and garnish with the compressed peaches and peach confit and the tears. Finish with the duck sauce. Repeat with the remaining ingredients, to serve 8.

 

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Photography by Francesco Tonelli