BERRIES HAVE THE BEST MOUTHFEEL, the way you can feel each one individually in your mouth—like tapioca, or really well-cooked sushi rice. But people have lost some important berry vibe. These days everybody wants them to be sweet. I think they should be sour. That’s what I liked about saskatoons when I first encountered them in Newfoundland, where they call them serviceberries. I also like how the harvest window is so small. They’re not exactly rare. But commercially, you don’t see them that much. The last thing is that they’re really good for you—rich in anti-oxidants and very healthy. —J.C.
Presented by King Cole Ducks
- 2 tbsp sel gris de Guérande (or other coarse grey sea salt)
- 1 tbsp black peppercorns, crushed
- 1 tsp cloves, crushed
- 4 duck legs
- 1.5 L (6 cups) duck fat
(Or substitute 4 legs pre-made King Cole duck confit)
- 75 mL (1/3 cup) fish sauce
- ¼ cup lightly packed fresh coriander
- 1 stalk lemongrass, sliced
- 2” piece galangal
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/2 clove of garlic, sliced
- 4 fresh kaffir lime leaves
- 1 bird’s eye chili halved lengthwise, stemmed
- 125 ml (1/2 cup) lime juice
- 500 mL (2 cups) shredded green papaya
- 125 mL (½ cup) shredded green mango
- 250 mL (1 cup) coriander leaves
- 250 mL (1 cup) mint leaves
- 250 mL (1 cup) Thai basil leaves
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 1 bird’s eye chili, thinly sliced
- 2 kaffir lime Leaves, thinly sliced
- Sumac powder
- Coriander leaves
If making your own confit begin a day in advance by combining salt, pepper and cloves, and rubbing the mixture all over the duck legs. Place in a non-reactive container, cover, and refrigerate overnight. Heat duck fat in a saucepan on medium-low. Brush excess seasoning from the duck and gently submerge in the fat. Poach on low heat at a bare simmer until tender – about 1.5-2 hours. Remove from the fat with a slotted spoon and set aside (strain and reserve fat).
To make the dressing, in the bowl of a food processor combine fish sauce, coriander, lemongrass, galangal, brown and white sugar, garlic, lime leaves and the chili – or just a portion of it, depending on size and taste. Pulse until smooth. Add the lime juice and pulse again. The dressing should taste hot, sour, salty and sweet. If necessary, adjust with more sugar, lime juice or fish sauce for balance. Set aside.
To finish the confit, place a cast iron skillet large enough to accommodate the duck legs in a single layer over medium heat. Add 2-3 tbsp of duck fat. When it begins to shimmer carefully add the duck legs, skin side down. Cook until the skin is crispy and golden brown. Remove to a cutting board to rest, flesh side down down.
Meanwhile combine all salad ingredients in a mixing bowl, dress lightly, and toss. Divide salad between four plates. Slice duck into even strips and place on top of each salad. Garish each plate with a sprinkle of sumac powder and a few coriander leaves – and serve.
GEOFF O'CONNOR - NOTA BENE
ABOUT THE KITCHEN
Filmed at Miele Culinary Institutes.
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