Jeffrey Buben: Hi! My name is Jeffrey Buben. I'm the chef and owner of Vidalia Restaurant and Bistro Bis in Washington D.
C. Today I'm going to show you how to make a crisp and juicy roasted duck for two with the saffron-honey glaze as your main course for your romantic Valentine's dinner.
For it you'll need a duck that we will roast and split for 2, orange, onion, fresh thyme and bay leaf, salt, and freshly ground black pepper, honey and saffron, wild rice, a little minced onion, minced apricot, and toasted almonds, the asparagus and brush with olive oil.
First, we preheat our oven to 370 degrees Fahrenheit and let that get ready and the way we're going to season the cavity of the duck today is we're going to take a little piece of orange, we'll take some onion, some nice pieces of onion, we're going to hold the duck up just like that and sprinkle the cavity with sea-salt, a little black pepper, a little more black pepper, some fresh thyme sprigs and just stuff that in there and we're going to take a couple of bay leaves and put the bay leaves inside there too.
Now we're going to tie the duck up so it cooks nicely even in the oven. We're going take some butcher's twine, wrap the butcher's twine underneath, come around the legs cross over, pinch the legs to the cavity, come around the neck, right around the bottom of the duck cinch that down, make a knot, lay the duck on our rack for the oven. We're going to season them with just a little bit of salt and pepper and that will go in 375 degree oven. We're going to prepare our saffron glaze quickly on the range and we'll use that to baste our duck.
We're going to turn our heat on very low, put our small saucepan on it and we're going to take our honey and put our honey into the saucepan. We're going to add about a half a teaspoon of saffron powder, warm the honey, mix the saffron and until it just starts to dissolve and then we'll get a nice yellow saffron color like that.
After a minute or two on the range, you can see that the color is starting to turn very bright yellow. We'll turn our heat off, take our glaze and brush our duck with the saffron-honey glaze. You see the yellow color that it's getting and all that beautiful saffron flavor, the duck will go into a 375 degree oven for about an hour or an hour and 15 minutes or until the juices run clear on an internal temperature of 155 to 160 degrees.
Next we're going to prepare our wild rice and apricot pilaf. What we're going to do is take our medium heat medium saucepan, heat that up, we're going to add some butter, let that melt. Add our minced onion, we just want to cook until it's lightly translucent, we're going to add the apricot so that with the apricot and the onion flavor will melt together.
Turn our heat to a medium, we'll cover that gently and let that cook for about a minute or two. After about 2 minutes, our onions are translucent, and we're getting the flavors, we're going to add our wild rice, one cup of wild rice and let that kind of saut for about a minute or so. We're going to add 3 cups of chicken stock; you can use water or vegetable stock.
Stir that so it doesn't stick to the bottom. You want to season that with a little freshly ground black pepper, a little sea salt, put our lid and cook that on a low flame for about 45 minutes and remove it from the heat and let it rest for about 5 minutes and then we'll be ready to prepare our asparagus next. Remove the bottoms to about there, and what you're going to do is, one of the ways to do it is, you can take the asparagus and just bend the asparagus and where it breaks naturally, that about tells you where the tender part of the asparagus is. Line them up to that length and cut the bottoms just like that.
What I like to do is, for roasted asparagus, I like to peel the asparagus about an inch and a half to two inches from the tip, just lay it on the edge of your cutting board and just take your peeler and bring it to the back like that. I'm going to take these over the range and I'll show you how to blanch them.
We add our salt to the water; we want a nice vibrant sea quality for that so we get a nice quick green blanch. We're going to add our asparagus to the water, time it for about one minute, remove our asparagus, place them on a paper towel. From the paper towel, we're going to remove that, place it on our baking sheet, we're going to brush them with some olive oil, coat them well. Now little bit of moisture from the blanch will keep them from getting too brown and too crisp under the broiler. A little freshly ground black pepper, sea-salt and a little mince fresh thyme.
We're going to place that under the broiler for about 3 or 4 minutes to get a nice roasted charred color to it, not too dark but nice thyme freshness and a roasted flavor. You want to keep a close eye on that, because it can go very fast. So 3 to 4 minutes is a good gauge, but check it after about 2 minutes.
Our duck is out of the oven, see that beautiful honey and saffron glaze on there. We have our roasted asparagus; we have our wild rice pilaf. All we need to do with the wild rice pilaf is that our toasted almonds and we'll give that a little stir.
First thing we're going to do is take the string and cut the string from our duck, we're going to take the leg right there between the leg and the breast and we're going to cut down that leg like that. We are going to take the other leg, and cut that down and we get to the bottom of the leg, putting the duck on aside, break it right at the joint, flip the duck back over. I'm going to carve the breast down one side and right down the other side of the keel bone. Bring your knife and just slide your knife along the breast bone, we're going to take the wild rice pilaf, place that on a plate, take our leg, place that like that. Take our other leg on the plate, slice the breast and a little bit of a bias, put the breast on the plate, and go and take our asparagus and lay that right across the top.
There we have our roast duck for two, saffron and honey glaze, wild rice and apricot pilaf, roasted asparagus. Next we're going to do the Grande Marnier Souffle with a decadent chocolate sauce.