This inventive soy glazed duck breast recipe from Paul Foster is a lesson in balancing strong flavours - lightly pickled and compressed shiitake mushrooms are coupled with an umami soy glaze, nuts, seeds and a sweet date purée to bring the dish together.
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To prepare the duck breasts, blowtorch the skin and trim off any excess fat or sinew. Vacuum pack and cook in a waterbath at 60°C for 40 minutes. Chill the bag, remove the skin and cut in half lengthways. Re-vacuum pack and keep in the fridge until needed
2 duck breasts, corn-fed
For the soy glaze, reduce the soy, red wine and honey down to a syrup, then stir in the chicken stock. Pass through a chinois and set aside until required
200ml of soy sauce
100ml of red wine
1 tbsp of honey
100g of brown chicken stock, reduced
For the date purée, cook the dates in the water until soft then blitz to a smooth consistency. Pass through a chinois and set aside
400g of water
200g of dates, stoneless
Fry the pumpkin seeds in the 50ml of oil until puffed up and slightly golden, drain on tissue paper and season with sea salt
100g of pumpkin seeds
50ml of sunflower oil
Deep fry the walnuts until golden, drain on tissue paper and season with sea salt
Sauté the mushrooms in the oil, drain well and season. Boil the vinegar, water and sugar and pour over the mushrooms. Once they have cooled, vacuum pack with the liquor to compress
8 shiitake mushrooms, large, stalks removed
100ml of sunflower oil
50ml of white wine vinegar
20ml of water
20g of sugar
Slice the fennel lengthways and season with sea salt and a teaspoon of lemon juice
1 fennel bulb
Toast the linseed and mustard seeds in a dry pan set over a medium heat for 2 minutes
To serve, drop the duck back in the waterbath for 5 minutes to reheat. Spread the date purée onto the plate. Take the duck out of the bag and pat dry with a tea towel. Brush with the soy glaze, sprinkle over a small amount of the mustard seed and linseed, then the pumpkin seeds
Cut the mushrooms into quarters, drain and arrange on each plate. Place 2 slices of the fennel onto the plate, sprinkle with fennel seeds and arrange some sorrel leaves on top. Grate the walnut onto the dish using a microplane and serve immediately
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