I want to make sure I post everything I made last week – it was the busiest and most stressful week of the last six months but totally worth it! One of the dishes I made last week ended up being on my final; good thing I had it fresh in my mind!
For the last two days of Saucier (the meat entree station), I focused on the duck dish – Sautéed Duck Breast and Braised Duck Leg with Pickled Cherries, Baby Bok Choy and Port Wine Sauce. I have come to really love duck over the course of the last six months and this dish was no different. We start off by making a duck stock that is then used to braise seared duck legs. The key to braising is searing the item first to develop color, then partially covering the item with liquid and then cooking it slow and low. Separately, we slowly cook the duck breasts in a saute pan to render the fat out and get it golden brown and crispy, while the meat is medium-rare. Cherries that will be used to finish the plate are pickled using brandy, lime juice, orange zest, sugar and a cinnamon stick. A port wine reduction is also made with port, orange juice, orange zest, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, chopped cherries and red currant jelly. The final sauce is made with a mixture of the duck stock and the port wine reduction. As a side dish, bok choy (Chinese cabbage) is cooked a’ langlaise (in boiling salted water) and finished with a little butter. I loved this dish, it’s rich and flavorful with a lot of depth. I would have liked another side, maybe a rice or potato, but it’s still a lot of food.
This dish ended up being on my final! I was so happy that I had just made it a few days before and was really comfortable with it. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t easy, but I felt more comfortable with this dish than others. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday night I spent studying for my final, which was on Thursday. We had some fun over those last few days of class and of course I took pictures!
It was such a fun last week – I know everyone will miss each other come next week.