There’s nothing quite like the combination of duck and orange… here’s a slightly new take on it which you should be able to replicate at home (and hopefully do a less sloppy job of plating up the parsnip!).
Mash: Cube the parsnips, and place into a pot, cover with cold water and bring to the boil, after a few minutes add the potato (cubed) and a clove of garlic. Meanwhile add the thyme, cream and milk into a small saucepan and simmer for around 10 minutes (if it starts drying up add a little more milk – but you don’t want it to be too runny)… Once the parsnip and potato are soft, strain them and place them back into the pot. Strain the thyme milk in, and the butter of butter, season with salt and white pepper, and use a stick blender with a mashing attachment (or a potato ricer or moulinette if you haven’t got a stick blender). It shouldn’t take too long before you have yourself a parsnip puree.
Peas: Place the peas, milk and cream into a small saucepan, heat until the peas are cooked – then puree with a stick blender. Season with salt and pepper and add in the butter at the end. To serve place into a piping bag and arrange dots on the plate.
Carrots: Simply wash, trim (but leave some of the leaf stalks), steam and serve.
L’orange Jus: Combine the white wine, chicken stock and orange juice into a shallow pan. Bring to the boil and simmer for a few minutes. Add the sugar and sherry and continue to simmer until it has reduced significantly into more of a syrup than a liquid. Take the orange peel and cut into a 3x6cm (1×2 inches or so) rectangle, turn it over, and carefully cut all the white bit off. Then cut that trimmed rectangle (no white bits) into thin strips (julienne)… Spiralled those around a skewer just so they had a bit of shape to them, and dropped them into the reducing sauce.
Duck: Score the fat and season with salt and pepper. Place them skin down in a medium-hot non-stick frying pan and cook on the skin side for around 10 minutes or until the skin is golden brown and crisp (but not burnt). Loads of fat should be in the pan now too (keep this to make some roast potatoes tomorrow). Turn the breast over and cook the other side… Poke it and make sure it doesn’t still feel raw (it should have a bit of resistance to it), if it does just turn the heat down and cook for a bit more. Take it off the heat, let it rest for about 5 mins then cut through your score marks from earlier into slices. You’ll catch a whole bunch of crazy-awesome-tasty juice from this so be prepared (tip: pour the cooked duck juice into your orange sauce before serving and it’ll lift it up about 100-fold).