Gordon Ramsay’s duck breast with Madeira jus, tomatillo apple cranberry chutney and parsnip purée

gordon ramsay duck breast

This is possibly the best tasting dish I’ve created to date! I found a recipe for Gordon Ramsay’s duck breast and tried to replicate the main components down to the dot (including the parsnip puree) while modifying some aspects (used tomatillo to add some balance to the sweet chutney).

duck breasts spiced

The duck breast is a beautiful piece of meat. I really like cooking with it, and I think this is the best way to savor the cut. I’m not a huge fan of traditional Chinese BBQ duck and never knew duck breast could taste this awesome until I did this. I was so engrossed in cooking that I didn’t notice I got rendered duck fat (yum!) on the camera lens so some of the later photos are a bit smudgy. The recipe is modified from Red Online.

gordon ramsay duck ingredients

You will need:

  • 2 duck breasts
  • Fresh tomatillos
  • Cranberry chutney
  • Parsnips
  • Heavy cream
  • Fresh milk
  • Goat cheese
  • Rosemary
  • Madeira wine

scoring duck breasts

The duck breast needs to be scored for better cooking and I did three (3) quick and light incisions into the skin – barely hitting the meat below.

I did not use *any* butter or olive oil. I just slapped the duck breast skin side down on the pan and kept the heat consistent. You’ll be amazed by how much oil the skin produces!

rendering duck fat

The tasty skin from the duck breast renders into delicious duck fat. You can get an insane amount of the stuff – probably 6-7 tablespoons of duck fat from 2 medium breasts alone! There’s nothing quite like duck fat rendering – it smells positively mouth-watering.

tomatillos

I actually bought the tomatillos to make salsa verde but I thought it’ll be perfect to put an acidic twist, which was supposed to be from the zest and juice of an orange. The original recipe by Gordon Ramsay also calls for port and cranberry jelly which I substituted with Madeira wine and Cranberry Apple Chutney.

BTW, if you think that the tomatillos looks a lot like cape gooseberry (sold as physalis here) that’s coz they come from the same family!

ramsay duck recipe

The duck breasts are really easy to cook – after about 10 minutes on low heat with the skin side down, the fat has mostly rendered – flip them over and lightly brown the other side for a couple of minutes and leave it to rest.

madeira wine deglaze

The Madeira wine is used to deglaze the pan. It’s a cooking term that means “scrape the crap from your pan with a liquid while keeping the heat on and keep the liquid + crap”. smirk

parsnip puree

Meanwhile, I had cut my parsnips into small chunks, steamed them and peeled it to be ready for the food processor – in reverse order. Add some heavy cream and put it on high for a couple of seconds. I also added some fresh milk and then puréed the parsnips some more. You can make the parsnip puree creamier by sieving it though some fine mesh before serving.

apple cranberry chutney

Back to the sauce, I added chopped tomatillos, cranberry and apple chutney and Madeira wine to deglaze the pan. I let this bubble for about 10 minutes to extract the flavor from the tomatillos, tasted it and pronounced it good!

butter chutney

However, I thought it would be *better* with some butter so I put in a generous slice of butter and the Madeira jus was ready to be poured on top of the rested duck!

gordon ramsay duck

I sliced one duck breast for my dear and kept mine whole. I wanted my duck breast to be served on top of the Madeira jus with cranberry apple chutney and tomatillos so I plated my dish with the duck sitting on top of the sauce.

pan fried duck

My dear wanted hers sliced so that’s what I did and spooned the sauce over the duck. I also added some salad and edible flowers in addition to the parsnip purée on the side. I’m told that this is my best dish to date and I quite like it as well!

duck breast sliced

The duck breast tastes deliciously rich and the sweet-acidic Madeira jus complements it perfectly. The parsnip purée is ingenious too since the dish would be way to heavy with potatoes. I’m really keen to cook this again, it’s surprisingly easy and the rendered duck fat can be kept and used for other things (they actually sell duck fat in some gourmet groceries).

Pasar Ramadan Shah Alam – briyani gam, Roti John and enforcement officers!

pasar ramadan shah alam

The Pasar Ramadan in Stadium Shah Alam is reportedly the biggest food bazaar in Malaysia. It opens once a year during the holy month (for Muslims) of Ramadan with various vendors from established shops to home cooks offering all sorts of delicious fare for people to buy and eat when they break their fast.

honey spice chicken

There’s a big stall with lots of BBQ chicken on spits turning over a charcoal fire offering just one item – ayam golek.

ayam golek

Ayam golek basically translates to “spun chicken” (I think) – and this particular stall sells it for RM 19 per chicken or RM 10 for half. The chicken is marinated in madu (honey) and rempah (spices) and it’s one of the most popular stalls there. It tastes really good!

john bread

Roti John stalls are also very popular. It’s basically a long loaf of bread stuffed with various ingredients – anything from beef to seafood.

making roti john

I found one called Papa John with a fearsome queue – the Roti John is done up like an assembly line with a cook at the back and the French loaf sized sandwiches were flying off the table as soon as they got there.

roti john

We got the aptly named Extravaganza for RM 8. The regular ones are half the price but this contains generous slices of oblong burgers in addition to the minced meat (you can choose chicken or beef) that comes with the normal ones. It’s made a lot like a large Ramly burger.

briyani gam batu pahat

Nasi Briyani Gam are also very popular with lots of stalls selling this special that hails from Batu Pahat, Johor. It’s a type of spiced rice that’s strained with a muslin cloth and served with chicken, lamb or beef. The kambing (lamb) is the best and goes for RM 8.

pasar ramadan saman

Funny thing about this stall is that it has no licence and *enforcement officers* were there giving them the good news. smirk

enforcement officers

These enforcement officers roam around the bazaar to look for infractions – you need a special monthly (Ramadan lasts for a month) license in order to set up shop. This one didn’t have the proper license and I heard them negotiating with the enforcement officers, who fined them. It’s still one of the most popular ones though so I bought mine there…while the enforcement officers were writing the ticket. I reckon they’ll need the additional business. ;)

murtabak singapore

There’s also a stall selling durian crepes and Murtabak Singapore (a type of filled roti canai). It’s RM 10 for 6 pillows and it tasted really good. It’s supposed to be made with D24 durians.

durian crepes

It didn’t even last the trip home, we ate the last ones in the car. It’s supposed to be kept cold and it’s yummy when eaten chilled.

fresh dates

I also bought some fresh dates on a branch (quite expensive though) on a specialty date store that also sells various Iranian dates.

smoked duck

There’s also a stall that sells smoked duck – lots of the birds were hanging from a hook.

chicken percik

Ayam percik is another seasonal must have and my dear got a skewer for RM 3.50.

ayam percik

It’s marinated and chicken grilled over a charcoal fire with a unique sauce but it tasted horrible coz one side was burnt. I chose that one coz I thought it’ll impart some nice caramelization (like our honey spiced chicken) but it ended up being tough and bitter instead.

burung goreng

I did like the deep fried quail though.

fried quail

The deep fried quail is simply called called burung goreng (fried bird) and just cost RM 4.50 for an *entire quail*! It’s small but delicious, if you like quail meat and it’s served with spices too.

itek mandi minkak panas

The other good buy we made was at the stall that sells itik mandi minyak panas (duck bathing in hot oil). It’s apparently very famous – they had a bunch of articles in papers featuring the duck. The duck cost RM 38 each, which is about right (ducks cost about twice that of chicken) but we had bought so much stuff that we couldn’t even manage half. The man was kind enough to sell us a quarter (chose the duck leg portion) for RM 10.

oil bathed duck

I thought duck bathing in hot oil is a really funny and quirky name too and the guy manning the counter was very educated and spoke English with an Oxford accent!

egg chicken

There are ready made meals too but we didn’t buy those coz we already had a nasi briyani gam kambing.

sea coconut

Of course, being Ramadan, drinks are big at the bazaar too (since the fasting Muslims do this month includes not drinking during daylight hours). Sea coconut drinks are popular as well as the ubiquitous cendol.

cendol tapai

I couldn’t resist this cendol stall that sells the shaved ice with palm sugar concoctions by the jug. There’s various toppings you can make too – tapai (fermented rice), pulut (glutinous rice) and durian.

cendol jugs

One jug of ice cold cendol costs RM 6 with a topping (went with glutinous rice coz they ran out of fermented rice). I loved it! We got it in a huge plastic bag to go and I drank it for the next 24 hours. :D

my john

There was a massive traffic jam going back coz of all the people rushing back to break fast so we ended up eating the Roti John in the car in anticipation of the long drive.

feast

We had a veritable feast when we got back! My dear promptly got food poisoning though and had to sit on the toilet a couple of hours after that. I was fine though, it’s the luck of the draw I guess, some of the food has been sitting there for hours.

huge cendol

Pasar Ramadan Stadium Shah Alam is very congested starting from 6 pm onwards and it opens at 3-4 pm. I still love going there though – it’s always very interesting to get different dishes to go at the food bazaar to eat at home. I spent a lot there coz I didn’t realize how the little things would all add up!

whole grilled lamb

There are no seating arrangements and people don’t eat there coz it’s still fasting time but there’s such a lot of delicious things on offer that you’re bound to get more than you can eat. :)

Apple duck, prawn with black pepper and honey and midin

apple duck

I’ve never heard of an apple duck before – the waitress taking the order assured us it was a very popular dish and thus, we swapped one of the meat orders (black pepper beef) with this menu item. We were at Nice House Restaurant – me and Arthur originally wanted to go to Cafe Ind for some fusion Indonesian and Indian food, but it was closed.

Thus, we headed over to a place which serves a gigantic roti canai that I wanted to try but that was closed too.

nice house restaurant

We ended up eating at Nice House Restaurant. I’ve been here a couple of times before and it seems that their typical Chinese cuisine has changed into something which I’ll call quasi-fusion. It’s still Chinese food but it uses much more non-traditional ingredients to cook.

prawn honey black pepper

Arthur recommended the prawn with black pepper and honey. He said it was much better than Ruby Restaurant‘s famed butterscotch prawns and I have to wholeheartedly agree. The combination of black pepper sauce with honey creates a sweet and savory gravy that had us scooping up all the gravy till the plate was almost clean. :)

black pepper lamb

The black pepper lamb was really good too – the meat was tender and juicy, and it goes very well with rice. A superb dish which wasn’t as sweet as the prawns (coz it didn’t use honey).

midin sambal

We also ordered midin cooked with sambal – it’s a wild jungle fern that’s very popular in Sibu but hard to find anywhere else. It’s our vegetable quota.

green apple duck

I felt that the apple duck was the most interesting dish during dinner. We ordered half a duck since a lot of people don’t eat duck due to the gamey taste but both of us do and we have been rather deprived of this particular fowl. I quite liked it although I think Arthur didn’t enjoy it as much. He hasn’t tried it before so we ordered it and the two of us finished everything – right down to the lettuce and green apple slices.

me arthur nice house

I think a lot of people thought we were having a major argument coz when the time came to pay the bill, both of us stood up and insisted on settling it. It must have looked quite interesting since I was blocking his way to the cashier. Heh.

Thanks for dinner Arthur and see you next time I come back to Sibu! :)

Bebek betutu in Tekor Bali

bebek betutu tekor bali

Bebek betutu literally means spiced duck. It’s one of the more well known dishes in Balinese cuisine. After listening to a frowning, disapproving local tell us that bakso is not Balinese in origin, and redirecting us to an awesome babi guling place, it was good to add another check mark to a classical Bali dish.

tekor bali legian

However, we had bebek betutu at the rather dubious beachfront restaurant in Legian called Tekor Bali. It was clean, nice and it came recommended from one of the travel websites. I was a bit hesitant since it didn’t “look” authentic but hey, I have since become a convert. A place does not need to be dingy and dirty to serve up great bebek betutu. :)

tekor bali bread

…it can even serve delicious, warm bread with garlic spread as an appetizer if it does its bebek betutu well. smirk

bebek betutu

The bebek betutu at Tekor Bali costs IDR 59,500 (about RM 20) and it’s ½ a roast duck stuffed with spices…and I do mean stuffed. There’s delicious spices everywhere you look (and even some places you don’t).

bebek betutu duck

The duck meat is tender, slightly juicy and extremely well flavored by the spices. The oily dark meat of the duck contrasts perfectly with the spicy packed marinade and it’s delicious with rice.

bebek betutu bali

I picked the bones of the bebek betutu clean. That’s half a duck, which is quite a bit more than I usually eat.

bintang beer

Tekor Bali is perfect for a couple of bottles of Bintang Beer too – it sells it at a comparable price to the Circle-K beside and you have an awesome shaded seat with the wind blowing in from Legian beach. :)

DucKing

ducking

I went to DucKing at Jaya One for our monthsary dinner on Friday night. DucKing (“The Different One”) seems to be wordplay on the story The Ugly Duckling (which turned out to be a swan if you forgot your Hans Christian Andersen).

ducking montage

DucKing is packed pretty much all the time – we waited 15 minutes for our turn to be seated, but the waitress was gracious enough to let us in when she couldn’t contact the previous two ahead of us on the queue list. There seem to be some problems with communication though – I got four calls during dinner saying that my seat is ready and I told them each time that I was already inside.

ducking menu

Price for this menu: RM 1,500 ++. I have been trying to spot this when I saw it on Cheesie’s blog and true enough; it’s in there. Haha!

ducking wine

I ordered INTIS (RM 78) an Argentinean Merlot meaning Sun God. It’s the cheapest wine on the menu – I haven’t started working yet, tomorrow is my first day at work so we figured we needed to conserve our funds. My girlfriend went for the Chinese tea, although she had a small amount (slightly more than thimble sized) of red wine as well.

ducking duck tongue

You can’t go to an establishment named DucKing and not order duck so for the appetizer, we had the Marinated Duck Tongue with X.O Sauce (RM 16.80). It tasted surprisingly good, I can’t remember ever having duck tongue before. This one is served with the tendon (bone?) under the tongue intact, and the slight crunchiness adds to the appeal.

ducking peking duck

Next on the menu was the Beijing Duck Two Varieties. I ordered 1/2 a duck. It’s RM 38.80 for 1/2 a duck and RM 62.80 for a whole duck. I love Peking Duck, especially the process that goes with it. Unfortunately, DucKing does not have the chef carve the skin off the duck in front of you.

ducking beijing duck

Peking Duck comes in four (4) dishes – the crispy roasted duck skin, the paper-thin flour wrap, spring onions and other vegetables for garnish and flavor, and the sauce itself.

ducking duck montage

Basically, you take one flour wrap and place a piece (or two) of crispy roasted duck skin on top before adding some spring onions and dousing it with sauce. It is then wrapped like a tortilla. There is some debate about whether the sauce goes on first, but I prefer it just before I wrap up the entire thing.

ducking duck wrap

The Peking Duck at DucKing is great! I love the soft, fragile flour wrap. I’m amazed at how tissue paper-thin it is. Excellent.

ducking bun

Beijing Duck is usually served in two or three courses – the skin in wrap, the meat cooked with vegetables and the bones in soup. Most establishments nowadays do away with the third installment though. DucKing gives you the choice of a wide range of preparations for the second course – we opted for the Deep Fried Bun with Roasted Duck Meat & Black Pepper Sauce (RM Included in the price of Beijing Duck).

ducking vegetable

The vegetable component of the food pyramid is completed with Braised Baby Kailan with Crab Meat (RM 28.80). DucKing cooks this dish with egg and starch and they’re very generous with the crab meat – it’s definitely proportionate with the price. There are huge chunks of whole crab meat inside the dish. Very nice indeed.

ducking abalone

For the last dish, we indulged in the Braised Abalone with Shimeji Mushroom and Broccoli (RM 72.80). The abalone is indeed cooked to perfection and matches the sauce well. The mushroom is paired perfectly with the abalone and came out juicy and tender. I used the broccoli to mop up the sauce, that’s how good it was.

DucKing does a very brisk business and the food is good, although it comes out very fast, suggesting mass production (or a chef with really deft fingers). The bill came up to a total of RM 280.85 but the bulk of that is from the wine and the abalone.

ducking us

Happy monthsary, dear! Love always.

Yes, that is our couple t-shirt and also the distinctive look of a bulge in my abdomen from eating excessively these few weeks. ;)

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