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Gordon Ramsay’s Crispy Duck with Cherry Glaze
THURSDAY 03.26.2020

Welcome to  another Gordon Ramsay MasterClass review! This episode i’m doing one of my favorites: Crispy duck breast drizzled with a cherry glaze, on the side we have some romaine hearts and sauteed spinach. I have been finding better ways to learn new recipes and by doing so I realized how much I’ve learned from Ramsay. He has awesome recipes with a great combination of flavors, the only thing I think he is missing is that smoky flavor from a charcoal grill. So this is my goal, recreate his recipes on the grill! 

Let’s get to grilling, there’s quite a bit to be done - but I promise you it’s worth the while! 


Ingredients

Crispy Duck:

  • 4 Duck breasts with fat on 
  • 2 tbsp Peppercorns (or Szechuan Peppercorns) 
  • 5 Star Anise
  • 3 Sticks of Cinnamon 
  • 1 ½ tbsp whole Cloves
  • 2 tbsp Fennel Seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 Sprigs of Thyme
  • 4 crushed Garlic Cloves

Cherry Glaze

  • 2 tbsp of honey
  • ¾ cup of red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup of chicken stock
  • 1 cup of cherries (pitted and cut in half)  - these can also be frozen and thawed

Romaine Hearts 

(original recipe calls for red endives, but my local supermarket did not have it) 

  • 2 Romaine heads
  • 2 tbsp Balsamic glaze
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 ½ tbsp of sugar
  • 1 ½ of olive oil 
  • Zest of half an orange

Sautéed spinach

  • Bunch of spinach 
  • ½ of large shallot, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • ½ tbsp of olive oil 
  • Salt to taste 

Instructions

Light your charcoal, and let the grill get up to a medium high heat which is around 350F - 375F. 

Crispy Duck Breast

  • Start by doing the 5-spice, toast on a cast iron pan the peppercorn, star anise, cinnamon, fennel seeds and cloves one by one. Be careful not to burn them, they all have different toasting times. 
  • Once done, add all the spices into a pestle and mortar to break down and combine all til it's fine. You can also use a spice or coffee grinder. 
  • Trim of the overlaying fat on the duck breast, just to give it a bit more shape. Keep the trimmings for later. Then you want to score the fat. 
  • Sprinkle the duck breasts with salt to taste and the 5-spice to season it. 
  • Put your cast iron pan on the hot grill, let it come up to temperature and add the fat trimmings, the thyme and the garlic. 
  • Once you see the fat is rendering, it’s time to put in the duck. Place it fat facing down and enjoy that sizzle. 
  • We’re going to sear the fat side for about 4 minutes - in between you can give the bottom side a quick sear directly on the grill to give it that amazing smoky flavor, for less than 30 seconds so it doesn’t overcook. 
  • Put the duck breasts back (fat side down) in the cast iron pan, I put the cooked thyme, fat and garlic on top of the breasts so they absorb the flavors. Close the grill lid and let it cook for about 10 minutes
  • When the duck breasts reach an internal temperature of 145F, they’re ready to be taken off the heat. 

Cherry Glaze: 

  • In the same cast iron pan, place the honey and don’t stir it, let it heat up for a bit so it caramelizes
  • Add the red wine vinegar, let it boil and reduce. 
  • Add the chicken stock, let it boil and reduce til it’s a nice and thick consistency
  • Add the cherries, let them soak a bit of the reduction and remove from the heat and into a bowl. 

Romaine Hearts: 

  • Cut your romaine hearts in half lengthwise, to leave the core intact. 
  • Place the romaine heart side up, and drizzle the balsamic glaze on top, sprinkle some salt and sugar. 
  • Warm up your cast iron pan, add the olive oil and let it get hot
  • Put the romaine hearts, heart side down on the hot pan
  • Add more sugar and balsamic glaze on top and let them cook for a few minutes
  • Flip them and let the other side caramelize - you still want a bit of crunch on each bite, so don’t overcook them. Add once more a bit of more sugar. 
  • Remove from heat and onto a sheet pan, take your orange and add some orange zest on top while it’s hot. 

Sautéed Spinach

  • Add olive oil to the cast iron pan, and season the pan with some salt
  • Add the spinach and leave it for 10 seconds. Then add the garlic and shallots
  • It should take 30-45 seconds for all of it to cook thoroughly. 
  • Remove from heat and serve. 

The perfect combination of flavors… 

Phew! That was quite a recipe! I’m so excited as I plate it, I run my knife on top of that crispy duck fat and it just makes the most incredible sound. 

As I cut into my duck breast, I realized they’re a bit overcooked, but you can see a bit of pink still. I usually buy bigger sized pieces and the ones in this video were fairly small. It’s ok, it’s a learning lesson for the next one. 

I go wow as I take my first bite, just the sweetness and tartness from the cherry glaze just balances perfectly with the fat and the seasoning in the duck. My tastebuds are going crazy and just soaking in all the amazing flavors. The spinach is nice and garlicky, while the romaine is cooked perfectly with a bit of crunch still left in them. It really can’t get better than this! 

I think this is the perfect dish to impress your parents in law, or pretty much anyone. I learned so much with this recipe and I know I can improve certain things, but I had great fun cooking it for you guys! Stay tuned for more reviews on Gordon Ramsay recipes.


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