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Canard à l’orange

We have been very busy in the kitchen developing and testing new recipes. One of them is an old classic that we reinterpret every year : the canard à l’orange – duck with oranges. As mentioned before, the traditional recipe calls for an oven roasted duck, a sauce gastrique (caramel, vinegar, duck stock and orange juice and zest reduced) and fresh oranges. The duck is usually served in two times : the breasts with the sauce and oranges, then the legs are roasted for a longer time and served over fresh salad.

Keeping this elements in mind, we came up with this new design. First, we spread a layer of julienned fresh yellow beets – reminding of the salad – tossed in orange vinaigrette, we add cooked and cubed red beets, legs confits, sous-vide duck breast that we caramelize with honey and spices. Lastly, we add a couple of orange segments and blood orange pulp explosions.

Seduced by this combination of flavors? Here is a home recipe to prepare on a special occasion :

Canard à l’orange
Pan-seared duck breast- crispy skin, balsamic-orange gastrique, orange gelee agar agar, beets,  potatoes and baby carrots.

Yield: 6 servings        

3 duck magrets (breasts)
4 oranges
1 lemon
1 cup of sugar, divided (1/3 cup for simple syrup +2/3 cup for gastrique)
1 teaspoon white pepper
2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2/3 cups orange juice
2 cups of brown duck stock
1/8 ounce or 4g of agar agar (you need to buy it in a form of a thread)
3 medium beets
12 small or 6 medium Yukon gold potatoes
18 baby carrots
½ cup of olive oil
Ground spices (fennel seeds, cardamom, anise)
Micro-greens for garnish

  1. Prepare a citrus marinade by combining 2 teaspoons of orange zest, 1 teaspoon of lemon zest, salt, 2 tablespoons of honey, white pepper and spices; set aside.
  2. Place duck breasts on a cutting board. Score the fat side of the duck in a criss-cross pattern.  Season the with salt. Warm a heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat without any oil. Place the duck breasts, fat side down in the skillet to render off the fat – about 6 min. It is better to cover if you can and remove the melted fat a couple of times during this time. Turn the breast over then sear for about 30 seconds. Just before plating brush the fat side with honey and ground spices and caramelize fat side for about 2 minutes.
  3. For gastrique sauce, make dark -almost burnt- caramel with sugar and deglaze with balsamic vinegar. Add orange juice and duck stock. Reduce until the sauce is à la nappe (thick enough to cover the back of a spoon). Finish the sauce: salt and pepper to taste, check consistency and flavor.
  4. Prepare agar agar : mix 1 cup of water with the agar agar and bring to a boil.
  5. Create simple syrup – called Baumé 30 degrees- by cooking 1/3 cup of sugar and 1/3 cup of water until clear; boil for 1 minute. Peel the oranges (keep the peels of one orange), add orange pulp (remove skin) to syrup, and cook for 3 minutes. Mix in the agar agar and pour into a square-shaped silicon mold (you can use a mold for ice-cubes). Cool at room temperature. When set, you should obtain small dice.
  6. Slice the orange peel into thin segments. Add segments to the gastrique sauce.
  7.  For vegetables: tourné potatoes; steam. Reserve for garnish. Prep baby carrots batonets; steam. Reserve for garnish. Prep beets, steam, reserve for garnish.
  8. To plate: On a plate, spread a tablespoon of room temperature gastrique sauce, display slices of duck magret on top. Place all vegetables and orange confit cubes. Add a few micro-greens. Serve immediately.


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Crispy squab and fresh peas

Vibrant, fresh ingredients provide me with my daily inspiration for Baumé Restaurant’s tasting menu. We select them and work with them at the peak of their aliveness and flavor. Consequently, we hope to surprise you with beautiful, crisp, delicious bites.

Fresh green peas — straight off the vine and right out of the pod — are at their best in spring and early summer. At this time of the year, the pods are smooth and green, the pea is tender but not floury.

One of my Spring dishes is the old French classic : “pigeon aux petits pois” (squab with peas).

As illustrated below by this famous painting—which was unfortunately stolen from the Museum of Modern Arts in Paris in 2010—I love to play with deconstructing the classics and building on them to enhance each part of the recipe.

Picasso : Le pigeon aux petits pois

The thought of glazed ducks gave me my starting point for working the squab. I wanted to reproduce their crisp, sweet and savory, spicy skin yet preserve the tenderness of the meat. I tailored that process to the subtlety of squab meat by adding the right spices, honey, and by adapting the cooking style. The result is this refined, juicy and crisp bite that we enhance with a few zesty drops of balsamic reduction on the plate.

In the classic recipe the peas are boiled in the the pan with the pigeon meat and broth. As we strive to preserve their freshness and like to play with textures and colors, we modified their cooking process. Fresh, lightly blanched bright green peas are presented against a tube of creamy pureed ones.

With these plates, I hope not only to satisfy your appetite but also to excite your curiosity.

Bon Appétit!

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