Saturday, January 1, 2011

In a Fowl Mood: A Fabulous Last Supper 2010

Just wanted to say Happy New Year to you all, and share what Michele and I enjoyed for our final meal of 2010. The first course was a superb Moroccan-style chicken crépinette seasoned with preserved lemon from Fatted Calf. I served it over a salad of raw, shaved asparagus, and garnished with kumquats candied in a chili syrup. 

For our main course I continued my exploration into equipment-less sous vide, which produced the finest duck breast I've ever eaten. I served it with a huckleberry gastric, and green lentils, The meat was perfect beyond description. I can't wait to show you how amazing and simple doing sous vide cooking at home actually is. Stay tuned!

Thanks to J. Kenji Lopez-Alt over at Serious Eats for his "Sous-Vide 101: Duck Breast" post, which served as the guide for the duck technique.


Michele aka Chef John's wife said...

I never leave comments on Foodwishes, but am making an exception to say this was my favorite meal of 2010, and no surprise, it was at home with my favorite chef. I can't wait to read everyone's comments after they have tried these, you'll be so amazed how delicious these were. Happy New Year Everyone!

Sharkey said...

Looking forward to the recipe. I've experimented myself with beer-cooler sous-vide steaks, with mixed results. The first time went great, but the second time resulted in medium steaks even though the water was at the medium-rare temperature. I'd be interested in the details of your sous-vide setup, down to the smallest detail.

Oh, and Happy New Year!

Blackraven said...

Mmmmm your last meal seems succulent

my roomie and I went for rib steak with kraft dinner and snow peas .... not as spiffy but worked well on our tight schedule before heading out to our parties....

Sounds strange but the mix of delicious steak along side with the comforting when I was a kid feeling from the KD worked rather nicely!

Happy New Year

Peregrine said...

The equipment-less sous-vide could be a revelation like your no knead bread that does not use a cast iron pot.
I make the bread often and would love to see an inexpensive way to do sous-vide.

Food Fever said...

Hey Chef,

Happy New Year to you too. Congratulations on the new format of the title. Lookin' good!

Anonymous said...

I imagine the flavors were wonderful, even if they only half matched the beautiful photo, and if it was as you described, this had to be an out of world experience of deliciousness!

Ken W said...

Hi Chef John

I've been getting into sous vide, too, and your pork confit recipe from a few years back put me on the path. Basically, I loved it so much that I did some research that lead to sous vide and I made my own water oven. This opened so many doors that I'm still exploring.

As for equipment-less sous vide, you at least need a digital thermometer and preferably a BIG stock pot. Duck breasts are perfect for a seat-of-the-pants sous vide. Next, I'd recommend chicken breast and for a real treat, scallops. WOW!! 20 min @ 120F --> 5 min in ice water --> dry on paper towels and pan sear. Perfect, buttery texture. Of course save the broth, warm and pour over.

Thanks for the inspiration
Ken W in MA

Chris K. said...

I'm looking forward to learning your sous vide techniques for one reason.

I have several beaver tails in my freezer that need to be cooked. They were given to me by a game-hunting friend, as a sort of challenge.

Truth is, he didn't want them. But how often does one get the opportunity to cook beaver tails? Besides, there's huge joke potential.

While my expectations for this unlikely and possibly regrettable endeavor are low, sous vide may be just the thing.

Thom said...

Our last meal of 2010 was nearly a tribute. We had 6 courses for 16 guests, and everyone one of them loved the food. If I didn't use a recipe, I used a technique or guideline found on the site. There were Peppadew stuffed peppers, a "salad" with orange supremes and jalapeño vinaigrette (I used seared tuna rather than scallops), a potato and leek soup with salmon "present" from the Valentines post, pulled bbq turkey breast which used a base of SFO sauce to get it started and Mac-n-cheese (taken from the crispy potato topping post), gnocchi with bolognese (taken from the timeshare turkey post), and finally merlot beef over mashed potatoes in a pastry puff shell. There were lots of garnishes, a dessert with every course, and several components to dishes not found on this site, but was well represented and the foundation to every course. Thank you Chef John, I wish you & Michelle, and a banner year in 2011.

Chef John said...

WOW!! What a feast! Thanks for sharing that, and I wish you a Happy New Year as well!