This is a rich and savory meat course that acts as a sort of finale for the meal. Duck breast has an incredible flavor and the crispy seared skin is to die for. It's served with a beef/red miso sauce that also appeared in 'Aged' filet, red miso, chard, and a lemongrass "mousseline", which is just a fancy name for a lemongrass-infused cream that's piped through a whipping siphon to give it some lightness and body.
You'll notice in the photo my lemongrass mousseline didn't hold it's body at all. In the batch I made for the dinner party, I forgot the xanthan gum and probably didn't shake the siphon properly, leading to an unstable mousse that collapsed quickly. Don't make these mistakes!
Click for larger image
For 4 servings.
2 Pekin duck breasts (1lb total)
For the beef red miso sauce:
300g beef stock
35g red miso
For the lemongrass mousseline:
3 baby leeks, thinly sliced
3 stalks lemongrass, peeled and chopped
1 in ginger, peeled and sliced
0.2g xanthan gum
Whipping siphon, N2O cartridges
Sous vide setup
Prepare the sauce (this can be done 1 day in advance): bring the beef stock to a boil and reduce by about 1/3.
Add a few spoonfuls of the stock to the miso to make a slurry, mix well, and stir back into the stock. Cook 5 minutes, making sure the mixture doesn't come to a boil.
Strain, weight, and measure 0.5% xanthan gum. Blend with an immersion blender and reserve in the refrigerator until needed.
Prepare the lemongrass mousseline: saute the baby leeks, lemongrass, and ginger in butter for 5 minutes, taking care not to brown. Season with salt.
Add the cream, bring to a simmer, and turn off the heat. Cover and let infuse for 30 minutes.
Strain the cream, whisk or blend in the xanthan gum, transfer to a whipping siphon and charge twice, shaking well. The gas acts as a preservative so this can be done in advance without loss in quality. Reserve in the refrigerator, and keep in a warm water bath during service until needed.
Prepare the duck: season the duck breasts with salt and vacuum pack. Cook sous vide at 134F for 1 1/2 hours.
To serve: warm the sauce in a pot on the stove. Remove the duck breasts from the bag onto a paper towel, discarding any juices. Heat a skillet with a very small amount of oil on medium heat, then add the duck skin side down to render out some of the fat and crisp. Traditionally duck skin is scored in a checker pattern, but I chose to omit that for this presentation. Use a blowtorch to accelerate searing or get any spots that are missed.
Flip the duck breasts and cook another 30 seconds.
Remove the seared duck to a paper towel and cut to serving portions.
Spoon a streak of sauce onto a place and place a portion of duck on top. Top with a pinch of Maldon salt. Pipe a small dollop of the lemongrass mousse onto a plate to check consistency; shake more to firm up if needed. Pipe a dollop of lemongrass mousse on each plate next to the duck and serve.