Roast muscovy duck with steamed eggplant, yoghurt and dried scallop

Roast muscovy duck with steamed eggplant, yoghurt and dried scallop

By
From
Marque
Serves
10
Photographer
Stuart Scott

Travel is one of my main forms of inspiration. Cooking in other countries, especially Asia, has opened my eyes to the possibilities of cuisine. Eggplant is a vegetable that is used around the globe but I think nowhere better than in China.

Ingredients

Method

  1. Trim five 250 gram Muscovy duck breasts, making sure to remove any pin feathers. To make the brine, mix together 300 grams table salt, 150 grams brown sugar and 2.5 litres water until the salt and sugar dissolve. Soak the duck breasts in the brine and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Remove the duck from the brine and rinse thoroughly under running water to remove the excess brine. Lay the duck breasts on cloth-lined trays and refrigerate, uncovered, for about 2 hours to dry the surface of the skin.
  3. Gently score the skin of the duck into 5 millimetre diamonds, being careful not to cut into the flesh. Seal the duck breasts in separate sous-vide bags and compress with moderate pressure. Cook in a water bath at 57°C for 1 hour. Remove from the water bath and chill them quickly in a blast chiller or an ice bath, then refrigerate until required.
  4. Peel 2 large eggplants, then cut them lengthwise into 2 × 2 × 10 centimetre batons. To make the brine for the eggplant, mix together 100 grams table salt and 2 litres water until the salt dissolves. Put the eggplant batons into the brine and submerge using baking paper and a plate. Soak the batons in the brine for 3 hours.
  5. Remove the eggplant from the brine and rinse thoroughly under running water to remove the excess brine. Pat dry. Steam in a combi steam oven at 85°C for 45 minutes, or until soft but the batons maintain their shape.
  6. To make the vinaigrette, combine 50 millilitres sherry vinegar, 50 millilitres light soy sauce and 50 millilitres canola oil with 1 very finely chopped garlic clove and whisk well. Brush the warm eggplant batons with the vinaigrette as they come out of the oven. Allow to cool, then refrigerate until required.
  7. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Set a cooling rack over an open flame, lay 3 medium eggplants on the rack and cook, turning often, until they start to collapse. Remove them from the flame and put in a baking dish, add a little water and cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes to complete the cooking. Place the eggplants in a colander and collect the juices that seep from them. Strain and reserve the juice.
  8. Remove and discard the eggplant stalks. Purée the eggplants in a high-speed blender until completely smooth. Pass the purée through a chinoise. Line dehydrator trays with plastic wrap. Spread the eggplant purée thinly and evenly on the dehydrator trays and dry in a food dehydrator for 8 to 10 hours, or until dried and crisp. Transfer to a spice grinder and blend until pulverised to a powder.
  9. Lightly toast 3 or 4 star anise in a frying pan. Transfer to a spice grinder and blend until pulverised to a powder.
  10. To finish the black eggplant sauce, bring 200 millilitres of the reserved eggplant cooking liquid to the boil in a small saucepan. Add 1 tablespoon of the eggplant powder and 1 teaspoon of the star anise powder. Season with brown sugar, Murray River pink salt and sherry vinegar to taste. Using a wand blender, purée the sauce until completely smooth and silky. You might need to adjust the consistency with either a little more juice or powder. Allow the sauce to rest and the eggplant powder to rehydrate.
  11. Hang 500 grams natural yoghurt in a coffee filter and let the liquid drip for 2 to 3 hours. Transfer the yoghurt curd to a bowl, then whisk gently while slowly adding 100 millilitres extra virgin olive oil in a smooth and even stream. Season to taste with Murray River pink salt and freshly ground white pepper. Refrigerate until required.
  12. To make the scallop floss, clean 200 grams fresh scallops and slice them into 3 millimetre thick slices. Marinate them in 10 millilitres fish sauce for 30 minutes. Spread the scallop slices on dehydrator trays and dry them in a food dehydrator at 40°C for 3 to 4 hours, or until leather-like. Place the scallops in a Thermomix and blend on speed five until the fibres separate and form a soft floss. Refrigerate the floss until required.
  13. Pick through 1 punnet daikon radish cress for decorative leaves. Keep the leaves in cold water until serving.
  14. Reheat the duck breasts in a water bath at 60°C for 10 minutes. Remove from the bags and let the breast dry slightly, then sear, skin side down, in a medium–hot frying pan. Remove the fat from the pan as it renders; when the skin side is evenly golden brown, flip the breast over and briefly brown the flesh side.
  15. Steam the eggplant batons in a combi steam oven at 60°C for 15 minutes, or until warm, occasionally basting with a little of the vinaigrette. Reheat the eggplant sauce, adjusting the consistency if required – it should be pouring consistency. Slice each duck breast into two neat slices along the length.
  16. To serve, place a duck slice on a serving plate next to an eggplant baton. Spoon some of the black sauce on top of the eggplant, and place a dollop of the yoghurt on the side. Sprinkle the scallop floss over the plate and garnish with the daikon cress.
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Marque
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