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Sunday, 22 May 2016

Recipe: Duck Hearts w/ Fennel & Basil (Chicken hearts work too!)


This has been an experiment after eating Duck hearts at BAO Soho (it was as good as folk say!) - the duck hearts were on as a special - they were so soft and tender I just had to work out how to achieve the same texture. Turns out it’s actually pretty simple: Brine the hearts, then halve them and trim them. Fry on a medium high heat for 2 minutes turning once! Succulent & tender!

I made this salad to demo how to use fennel for my flatmate, it’s a healthy salad and has a broad range of textures and complimentary flavours.





C- for presentation, must try harder!

Sorry about the presentation .  .  .  looks like a duck heart spider with poached pear legs sat on a cucumber birds nest!! Tastes good though!

ingredients (serves 2)

for the fennel salad
400g 1 fennel (top removed for garnish, finely sliced, leave 240g edible)
180g 1/2 cucumber (shredded)
6g basil (chopped at the last minute)
6g coriander (coarsely chopped)

4 poached pear quarters (cut into thirds & diced, keep one for garnish)
35g pickled cauliflower
60g maple dressing
1 dried chilli (finely chopped)

for the maple dressing
100g maple syrup
100g sherry vinegar
100g olive oil

for the duck hearts

300g duck (or chicken) hearts (cut into halves, fat removed)
660g brine (10% - 600g water / 60g salt)
50ml olive oil
25ml ponzu

for the garnish
fronds form the fennel
dried chilli
basil shoot
poached pear


fennel salad
Slice up the fennel first and leave in ice cold water to keep it crunchy and fresh!
Prep the ingredients (chop the basil and coriander at the last minute and mix in).
Mix in a salad bowl, season and toss.

Put the fennel in iced water so it keeps it's crunch!

maple dressing
Mix all the ingredients in a vinaigrette bottle. Keep until required. (Will last a month in the fridge)

duck hearts
Put the duck hearts in brine for 2hrs before frying them.
Hold each heart down flat and slice through it, then remove the top part of each half where the fat and tube are.
Put into a tub with the oil and mix well so all the halves are coated with a little oil.
Place the hearts into a hot frying pan so they are not touching. (Don’t crowd them.)
Cook for 1 minute, then turn them. Cook for another minute, add a little ponzu to deglaze and coat the hearts.
Repeat until all the hearts are cooked.

Cut the hearts in two and remove the fat & tube at the top!

to serve
Pile the salad into the centre of the plate to give a little height then add duck hearts and dress with fennel fronds, dried (or fresh) chilli, basil shoots and poached pears. Add some sea salt and serve immediately. 

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