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
- ½ loaf egg bread, crust removed, and diced (about 2 cm / 1 inch)
- 225 g (½ lb) salted butter
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ pack Chinese sausage, sliced into rounds
- 10 shiitake mushroom, stemmed and sliced
- 1 tbsp chopped sage
- 2 tbsp chopped coriander
- Salt, pepper
- 2 mandarin oranges
- 2 tbsp orange juice
- 2 tbsp Porto
- 250 mL (1 cup) sugar
- 1 tsp light corn syrup
- 500 mL (2 cups) cranberries
- 2 star anise
- Salt, pepper
- 4 duck breasts (preferably dried skin side up in the refrigerator for 2 hours)
- 3 tbsp canola oil
- Salt, pepper
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 2 tbsp sweet soy sauce
Preheat over to 400°F.
To prepare the stuffing place diced bread on a baking sheet and transfer to the oven until golden –3-5 minutes. Set aside to cool. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sauté onion and garlic for 2 minutes. Add sausage, mushrooms and sage, and cook, stirring, for 3-5 minutes. Add bread, stir, and cook until soft – 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and fold in chopped coriander. Adjust seasonings and set aside.
For the sauce, zest the mandarins with a vegetable peeler. Julienne the zest. Juice the mandarins into a bowl, add the orange juice and port, cover and set aside. Combine sugar, 1 tbsp of water and the corn syrup (which prevents crystallization) in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until sugar melts, then cook until caramelized – 7-10 minutes. When the mixture is golden brown, add the cranberries and star anise, and carefully swirl the pan to coat. When the cranberries begin to burst remove the pan from the heat, add the juice and port mixture, and stir to incorporate. Add the mandarin zest, season with salt and pepper. Place on low heat and simmer until thickened enough to cook the back of a spoon – 5 to 10 minutes. Set aside.
Rub the duck with a little of the oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat a large cast iron pan on high. Add enough oil to coat bottom, and when it shimmers, add duck breasts flesh side down. Sear until brown – 1-2 minutes. Flip breasts and lower heat to medium-high. Add garlic, thyme and butter. Sear, basting regularly, until skin is brown and crisp – 4-6 minutes. Remove to a cutting board flesh side down to rest for at least 5 minutes. Brush with soy soy sauce.
To finish heat the stuffing and transfer to a warm serving bowl. Warm the sauce and divide between four ramekins. Place each on a warm plate. Slice the duck thinly against the grain, fan out each portion around its sauce ramekin, and serve.
NICK LIU - DAILO
Nick Liu’s career started in George Brown’s Culinary Management program, moving on to the legendary Scaramouche for nine years. Post-Scaramouche, Chef Liu traveled through England and Australia and worked at Rhodes in the Square, Rhodes 24, Fat Duck, Le Gavroche, St. Johns, Tetsuyas, and Long Grain.
Back in Toronto, Liu landed as Sous Chef at Splendido, then moved on to Niagara Street Cafe as Executive Chef. While there, he had the honor of representing Canada as a guest Chef for the Toronto G20 Summit and Mexico’s Pan Am Games.
His GwaiLo PopUp gave him the tools to open up his current project: Executive Chef and Partner of DaiLo. DaiLo specializes in New Asian Cuisine. Within six months of opening, it has garnered critical acclaim within the restaurant industry, including making the Top Ten Best Restaurants in Toronto list and Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants list.
ABOUT THE KITCHEN
Filmed at Miele Culinary Institutes.
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