Lavender, honey, fennel and peach prove a wonderful match for perfectly roasted duck breast in this magnificent duck with lavender recipe from Steven Smith. This recipe does require a sous vide to get the desired result.
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Begin by preparing the compressed peach. Halve and deseed the peaches, carefully peel off the skin and place into vac pac bags with a small dash of white balsamic vinegar. Seal tightly and leave to marinate in the fridge for 1-2 hours
1 dash of white balsamic vinegar
For the sauce, caramelise the honey in a pan until bubbling and add the lavender and the orange juice. Reduce on a high heat for 3 minutes, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes
100g of honey
10g of lavender
200ml of orange juice
Add the chicken stock and simmer for 60 minutes, or until reduced to a sauce-like consistency. Pass through a fine sieve and set aside until ready to plate
2l chicken stock
30 minutes before roasting, remove the duck breasts from the fridge and allow to come up to room temperature
Preheat the oven to 160°C/gas mark 3
Gently rub the duck breasts with olive oil, season and place on a baking tray. Roast in the oven for 40 minutes
600g of duck breast, on the bone
Meanwhile, prepare the purées. For the fennel purée, thinly slice the fennel, including the tips and leaves/fronds. Place a low-sided pan over a medium heat and add a small dash of oil. Sweat the fennel until soft, then add 100ml of water and cook until soft
2 fennel bulbs, large, leaves intact
1 dash of oil
Tip the mix into a blender, blitz until smooth then season to taste. Pass through a fine strainer and set aside until ready to serve
For the peach purée, cook the peaches gently in simmering water for 15 minutes. Drain, cut each peach in half and remove the stones. Purée the flesh and skins in a blender until smooth, then add the vinegar and purée again. Pass through a fine strainer and set aside
10ml of white balsamic vinegar
To prepare the fennel, cut each bulb into quarters and cook in salted simmering water for 10-15 minutes. Strain and then sear in a hot pan with a dash of oil, until browned on both sides. Remove from the pan and keep warm
4 baby fennel, quartered with leaves reserved
Meanwhile, remove the compressed peaches from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature, remove the duck breasts from the oven. Allow the duck to rest for 10 minutes before carving
Remove the bones from the breasts and roll in honey and then lavender. Carve into rectangular pieces, or as desired, and plate with roches of the fennel purée, spots of peach puree, the fennel and compressed peach. Garnish with chopped chives and fennel fronds and serve immediately
100g of honey
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