Can we just talk for a second about the fact that Jack made this?
Jack. My fiance. The one who used to cook but refuses to cook anymore because he says that I am such a good cook that why should he cook?
The same Jack that, when he cooks for himself, he won't make any extra for me because I won't eat what he makes (it's true. It's pasta or something and I try to avoid pasta unless they are awesome, because I have a slow metabolism). But yet he'll get so mad at me when I ask for a bite because Jack doesn't share food?
Can we just talk about how impressive that is?
This is a dish from the French Laundry Cookbook and it is, in a word, divine. Duck is wrapped with greens, placed in a wonderful broth of cream, corn and chives and topped with tender mushrooms.
Jack needs to cook more.
Duck Roulade - Adapted from The French Laundry Cookbook
- 1 whole duck breast
- Black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 4-5 large chard leaves
- 6-10 fresh shiitake mushrooms
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup duck demi-glace
- 1 minced shallot
- 1 tablespoon minced chives
- 1 tablespoon minced parsley
- 1/2 pound potatoes
- 1/4 cup cream
- Blanch the chard or cabbage leaves in a large pot of salty boiling water for 3-4 minutes. Pull them out and plunge them into a large bowl of ice water. Let them cool a few minutes and drain on a clean cloth towel.
- Make the roulade. Trim the duck breasts of all sinew and skin and veins, then put them between two pieces of wax paper. Gently pound the thicker end of the breast with a meat mallet or empty wine bottle until it is about the same thickness as the skinny end of the breast.
- Peel and chop the potatoes into large pieces. Boil in lightly salted water.
- Trim the edges of the breasts to get a rectangular shape. Generously salt and pepper them, then sprinkle on the allspice.
- Lay out the cabbage or chard leaves on a cutting board and remove the ribs with a sharp knife.
- Pull out a piece of plastic wrap about 15-20 inches long and lay it flat on a counter.
- Lay out the chard leaf flat on another part of the counter. You want pieces large enough to wrap a rolled duck breast in one layer. If your leaves are too small, overlap them. This will make rolling a little harder, but you can still do it.
- Tightly roll the duck breast lengthwise into a long cylinder. Place it on the chard leaf, then gently roll the leaf around the breast. Make sure it goes all the way around.
- Pick up the roll gently and place it — seam side down — on the plastic wrap in a spot that is closer to you than the center of the wrap. Tightly roll the plastic wrap around the roulade.
- To seal, twist one end of the wrap away from you until that end of the roulade is tightly sealed. Twist the opposite end of the plastic wrap toward you. Tie the ends of the wrap together over the center of the roulade. If you want, you can make these roulades several hours in advance and keep them in the fridge.
- To assemble the dish, make sure your mashed potatoes, scorzonera or parsnips are done. Basically you cook them until soft, mash them with a fork or potato masher, run them through a ricer or food mill if you want a finer texture, then mix in 2 tablespoons butter and the cream. Taste for salt and add if needed. Keep warm on very low heat.
- Now poach the duck. Get a saute pan with high sides, or a pot large enough to fit the roulades, and put enough water in to submerge them. Bring it to a bare simmer, about 190 degrees. Turn off the heat and drop the roulades in — the water will still be hot enough to poach them. Leave them in the water for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the shiitake and sauce. Heat the demi-glace in a small pot until it steams.
- Get a saute pan hot over high heat. Add the fresh mushrooms and dry-saute them until they release their water, stirring often. When most of the mushrooms’ water is gone, add a pinch of salt, the remaining butter and shallot and saute for 2-3 minutes.
- Add half the demi-glace and let it boil down to almost a glaze.
- Remove the roulades from the poaching water and gently take off the plastic wrap. Using your sharpest knife, slice them into stout cylinders. In a shallow bowls, pour in little pools of the remaining demi-glace, then top with a dollop of the mashed scorzonera. Place a piece of the roulade on top.
- Mix in the parsley and garlic chives into the mushrooms, and place a little on top of the roulade. Serve at once.