November 30, 2010

Results - Roasted Duck Breast, Braised Turnips, and a Mango and Lemon Sauce

roasted duck with mango and turnip

Sometimes I wonder how chef's come up with flavour combinations. Do they have the Issac Newton moment when an apple falls out of a tree smacking them plainly in the face?, or do they purposefully set out to challenge our traditional take on flavour unions? I'm not exactly sure how Jacques Reymond thought of putting mango and turnip together, but let me tell you it was a stroke of genius! I really didn't think that my favourite part of this dish would be the combination of the sweet juicy mango with the soft but tender turnip. And to be brutally honest, that is the only aspect of this entire dish that I will probably be making again. Before yesterday I had no idea that there was more than one use for a turnip, the first being a implement to throw at your partner when they eat the last piece of chocolate in the pantry.

turnip and mango

I totally failed with the pickeled wombok (aka a Chinese cabbage that sounds strangely like a small furry animal). I don't know if I read the recipe wrong, or I totally missed the point, but I followed every step and at the end of it I was left with slightly damp crisp cabbage. I stared at it for a little while, kinda hoping it would magically turn into the right thing, but 20 minutes later and nothing. So I got frustrated and just wilted the whole lot in a hot pan, I may have committed a culinary sin, but in the end I wasn't exactly overcome with a taste sensation, so I'm not too upset that I got it wrong.

roasted duck with mango and turnip above

The other thing that I really liked about this dish was the orange and lemon sauce. I really enjoyed the fragrant star anise and szechuan pepper in the sauce, and I thought that the whole thing came together really well, who would have thought that orange and duck were a match made in heaven!!! The French may be onto something here. Once again though, the big spoiler was the limp, drab tasting cabbage. I strongly recommend making the rest of the dish and leave out the accompanying pickled cabbage. Maybe just steam some crunchy string beans, or better yet just save your stomach for a huge serving of dessert. Speaking of dessert, onto my last challenge in the Jacques Reymond 3 course dinner. Stay tuned for the sugar high!

roasted duck with mango and turnip side


Chanel11 said...

Mango and parsnip delicious you say? I will have to trust your tastebuds - great job btw looks fab

Trisha said...

Hahaha I had to laugh out loud by your turning statement of chucking it to the partner! I've always wondered how chefs come up with incredibly tasting dishes - they're just culinary geniuses! This duck dish looks amazing too! I've never cooked duck before so this is just fabulous!

Hannah said...

Ah, see I've never had any use for turnipa, because I lack the partner to throw them at as punishment!

I'm glad at least parts of this recipe are keepers. Would be mighty said for the whole meal to be lacklustre like the wombok!

penny aka jeroxie said...

I always wonder how chefs actually throw flavours and techniques together... genius

Sarah @ For the Love of Food said...

I think you were very imaginative to even pick this dish - I couldn't have imagined this tasting good! however the presentation is beautiful and with your description and assurances on the taste I'm convinced. Great reward for being daring :)

Agnes said...

Funny that the wombok didn't work out. I would think that it should have been crisp and vinegary?

blackbookkitchendiaries said...

Love roasted duck, and the sauce is interesting mix. I always like to try something new. Thanks for sharing

Arwen from Hoglet K said...

My mum has always told me that turnips are yucky and I should buy swedes instead (for soup). I think a touch of mango might turn her around though.

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