Tea-smoked duck with green apple and onion

I came up with this dish because I was thinking about what the prettiest duck dish I could make, and this is what I thought up of. I love to tea smoke proteins, and I love tea smoked duck. Smoking the duck in chamomile tea specifically gives it a pleasant earthiness, and I wanted to pair that with green apples and onion, since green apples just compliment chamomile perfectly, while duck and onions are kind of a match made in heaven. For my components, we have chamomile tea-smoked duck breast, a green apple soubise(caramelized onion sauce), pickled onions, and a chamomile jus, finished with some fresh green apple. The soubise is a sauce normally made with caramelized onions, thickened with a bechamel sauce. In my case, I’m using yogurt, stock, and xanthan gum, along with the green apple and onions, just to give it a lighter, fresher flavor. Since duck is a heavy protein, I didn’t want this dish to be too much rich. With this dish, you get delicate, dainty, but still delicious and in my opinion, the right amount of food for a plate.

For the green apple soubise:
1/2 a white onion, diced
1 tablespoon duck fat
a pinch of salt
1/4 cup duck or chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 cup Greek yogurt or 2 tablespoons yogurt powder
1 green apple, peeled, cored, and diced

Sauté the onion in duck fat and salt until translucent in color. Deglaze with the stock and take off heat. Transfer into a blender with the other ingredients and puree until completely smooth.

For the pickled onions:
1/2 white onion, cut lengthwise
1/4 cup beet juice
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 cup water

Separate the onion into smaller petals, cutting the bigger pieces as necessary(wear glasses or goggles when doing this if you value your eyes). Heat up the beet juice with vinegar, sugar, and salt. Once everything is dissolved, pour the liquid into a container with the onions. Add in water. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

For the tea-smoked duck:
2 duck breasts
a pinch of salt
3 bags chamomile tea
1/4 cup brown rice or oats
2 tablespoons brown sugar

Score the duck breasts on the skin side, then season generously with salt. Place into a cold pan, skin side down, and slowly render the fat on medium heat for 10 minutes. Flip and sear on the flesh side for 2 minutes. Reserve the fat that is rendered out for things like the soubise, or for other recipes in general! Duck fat is delicious! Place into the oven at 400 degrees F, skin side up, for 5 minutes. In a large pot or wok, place down two layers of foil. Place in the other ingredients. Heat up the wok until the sugar begins with melt and smoke begins to rise. Cover the wok at this point to allow the smoke to continue forming. Make sure you have the windows open and ventilation on high! Once the duck has been cooked in the pan, transfer onto a grate and place cover the wok. Cover the top of the grate so that the duck is fully submerged in the smoke and smoke the duck for 8 to 10 minutes. Rest the duck for at least 5 minutes before cutting and serving it.

For the tea jus:
Reserved pan that you cooked the duck in
2 tablespoons apple juice
1 bag chamomile tea
1/2 cup duck or chicken stock
a pinch of salt

Place ingredients onto the pan and cook on low heat, stirring until everything is melded together. Cook on low heat for at least 10 to 15 minutes. Pour through a sieve to remove any solids.

To garnish:
Green apple, peeled, sliced, and cut into disks

Start with the soubise. Place on half of the duck breast, and garnish with petals of the onion, the apples, and the jus to finish.

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