Duck eggs and soldiers
Eggs Benedict is so ubiquitous on breakfast menus that we wanted to jazz things up a little – in doing so we present this work of hyper-indulgent genius. This is about as much of a guilty pleasure breakfast as there is. It’s the Donald Trump of the breakfast world: mega rich and blonde (and it doesn’t leave an unpleasant aftertaste). It puts together confit duck legs with duck eggs, hollandaise sauce and brioche soldiers. Cardiologist optional.
2 confit duck legs, at room temperature
30g butter, plus extra if needed
4 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus extra if needed
4 slices of brioche, each cut into 6 ‘soldiers’
4 free-range duck eggs, at room temperature
watercress sprigs, to garnish
For the Hollandaise Sauce
125g butter, diced
2 egg yolks
½ teaspoon white wine vinegar or tarragon vinegar
freshly squeezed lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4. Place the duck legs in the oven for 15 minutes to warm through. Meanwhile, make the hollandaise sauce. Select a heatproof bowl that will sit over a saucepan of simmering water without the base of the bowl touching the water. Set the bowl aside and heat the water until it is just simmering. Do not bring it to the boil.
In a separate pan, clarify the butter. Melt the butter, skimming the white whey from the surface. Set the golden melted butter aside and keep warm.
Place the egg yolks, vinegar, a pinch of salt and a splash of ice-cold water in the bowl, then place over the simmering water and whisk constantly for 3–5 minutes until the mixture is thick and pale. Remove the bowl from the heat and slowly whisk in the melted butter until the hollandaise sauce is creamy. If the sauce thickens too much, simply thin it with a splash of cold water and continue whisking. Season with a splash of lemon juice and cayenne and salt to taste. Set aside and keep warm.
To fry the soldiers, melt the butter with two tablespoons of the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the brioche pieces and fry until golden brown on both sides, adding extra butter and oil to the pan if necessary. Drain well on kitchen paper and keep warm. Add the remaining oil to the pan and heat. Crack the eggs into the pan and cook over a medium heat, spooning the oil over the yolks, until the whites are set.
Pull the meat from the duck legs and slice. Serve the duck meat, a fried egg, the hollandaise sauce and the brioche soldiers. Garnish with watercress and serve immediately.
Recipe from M ‘The 24 Hour Cookbook’, by executive chef Michael Reid. Photography by Jodi Hinds. Visit the M restaurants here
Source: The Independent