Philosophy and cooking have been two of my favourite subjects since childhood. Both of which brings people together and of course have been cause of war across countries and across tables.
I was born in India. Philosophical discussions on dinner table with my father was the most memorable part of my childhood. Something I always remember my father telling me was anything which was unifying is Godly and anything which is divisive is satanic. When I entered hotel school I quickly realised that I had entered a Godly unifying profession.
Moving to London in 2002 I quickly realised my love for French and western food but I also saw the demerits of western cooking. When Unlike Asian (specially Indian) food western food was very ingredient led but it lacked the magical oomph , which came by various spices vinegars soya sauce, tahini etc…
A fish cooked in beurre blanc was good for me but I thought adding a fermented lemon chutney would make it magical. A bouillabaisse was good but adding a bit of harissa rosso takes it to a different level altogether.
Working with many legends of French cooking, I quietly saw their interest in spices. I saw chef Pierre put cardamom in his lobster bisque, chef Bruno and chef Eric using a plethora of spices in their food.
Here is my effort to bring harmony between the east and the west. Duck Leg pot au feu. A pot au feu is classic dish from France made with beef or poultry.
Here I bring in some asian flavours in the broth by using soya sauce ,honey and sherry vinegar and confit the duck in duck fat and then crisp it up .the result is magical and you can try it yourself …
DUCK AND MUSHROOM “POT AU FEU”
- 60g Butter
- 500g Buttom mushroom (cut in quarters)
- 65g Honey
- 65g Soya Sauce
- 65g Sherry vinegar
- 500g Chicken stock
- 100g Brown butter
- 20g ginger (fine chopped)
As a garnish per portion
- 15g Shimiji mushroom
- 30 g Peas
- 15g Chinese cabbage
- 40g mushroom form broth
Saute the mushroom in the butter till brown. deglaze with sherry vinegar and reduce by half .add honey and soya sauce . reduce by half and add the chicken stock . Let simmer till 15 mins ….add the julienne ginger and leave to infuse. Gradually whisk in the beurre noisette (brown butter ) . you can make it a day in advance .
For duck leg confit
- Maldon salt -100 g
- Crushed black pepper – 5g
- Garlic – 12 g
- Caster sugar – 25 g
- Lemon thyme – 4 g
- Lemon grass – 1 stick
Blend all the above ingredients to a coarsely
Season the duck leg with this. if you want to be cheffy and precise put 50 grams of the above mix to 1 kg of duck leg .and refrigerate for one day . Keep turning once a while if time allows .
The nest day wash the duck leg and confit it in duck fat in a low heat for around 3 -4 hrs till its tender.
When your guest are here you can put the duck leg skin side down in a non stick pan in a gentle heat with some of the duck fat and let it crisp up to its glory .
Put the crisp duck leg in a bowl and pour over the beautiful warm broth with cooked peas Chinese cabbage …and voila !!! you have your pot au feu asiatique .