SMOKED MAPLE GLAZED DUCK

Andrew McConnell, Executive Chef – Cutler & Co Dining Room, Melbourne

Serves 4

DUCK SAUCE
1kg duck bones, roughly chopped with a cleaver
100g shallots, peeled and roughly sliced
3 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
1500ml brown chicken stock
2 tbsp olive oil

Bring a large pot to a high heat. Add the olive oil then carefully add the duck bones. Cook the duck bones until starting to colour. Add the shallots, thyme and bay leaves.
Continue to roast until bones are deeply coloured and shallots are caramelised.
Add the chicken stock, bring to a simmer, and gently cook for 2-3 hours, topping up with more chicken stock if required. Pass through a fine sieve, discard solids.
Return the sauce to a saucepan. Reduce over a medium heat to achieve a thick sauce consistency.

PICKLED CHERRIES
24 large cherries, pitted
100g water
100g red wine vinegar
100g sugar

Remove the seeds from the cherries, and place into a heatproof bowl. Bring the water, vinegar and sugar to a simmer. Pour the pickling solution over the cherries, leave to cool to room temperature. Place the cherries in the fridge to steep for at least 24 hours.

BEETROOT SAUCE
25g sugar
70ml sherry vinegar
750ml beetroot juice
100g duck sauce
50g brown butter

Bring a small pan to a medium heat. Add the sugar to the pan, cook until a golden-brown caramel is achieved. Deglaze with the sherry vinegar. Be careful not to burn yourself as it may spit. Add the beetroot juice, cook until liquid is reduced to a glaze.
Add the duck sauce, and finally whisk in the brown butter. Keep warm until ready to serve.

ROAST DUCK BREASTS
2 duck crowns from 2.2kg ducks, dry aged for one week
4 tbsp smoked maple syrup
2 tsp coriander seed, roughly ground
2 tsp fennel seed, roughly ground
2 tsp salt

Preheat an oven to 220°C. Score the skin on the duck breasts with a sharp knife, taking care not to cut into the flesh. Using a pastry brush, glaze the duck crowns with half the maple syrup. Sprinkle evenly with the salt, coriander seed, and fennel seed.
Place the ducks on a wire rack in a roasting tray, with a cup of water in the bottom.
Cook for 8 minutes at 220°C. Remove from the oven, brush with the remaining maple syrup. Cook for a further 8 minutes. Rest 10 minutes. Remove the breasts from the crown. They should be cooked to medium. Carve each breast into 4 then season the flesh with a pinch more salt.

KALE
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp butter
1 bunch kale, washed and stems removed
Pinch salt

Bring a sauté pan to a medium-high heat. Add the oil and butter, then the kale. Season with a pinch of salt. Cook until the kale is softened and starting to caramelise. Drain on kitchen paper.

TO SERVE
Arrange the cherries on 4 plates. Spread the kale around the plate, between the cherries. Place a carved duck breast in the centre of each plate. Spoon the sauce around over the garnishes and the duck breasts.

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