Portion/Yield:Serves 8–10 as a starter or light lunch
Our ‘deer’ friend and local game expert, David Grimwood, often comes to see us bearing gifts. Over the years, he has brought us a wonderful array of game, including some fabulous tufted ducks. Every time David comes we learn something new, and the inspiration for this recipe came from his recommendation that tufted ducks are only good for pâtés.
After a good look and a prod, I realised there is not much meat on tufted ducks, but the breast meat can be bulked out with items such as chicken livers, which in turn mellow the strong game flavour and make it more palatable.
I serve this rich and flavoursome parfait with the red wine-poached quinces from my Red Wine-poached Quinces and Goat’s Cheese Open Filo Tarts with Salted Caramel Walnuts recipe and one of our customers Professor Baker’s pickled walnuts. The combination of textures and flavours works a treat. Do remember just to serve small amounts of this parfait, as it’s incredibly rich, and accompany it with plenty of toasted sourdough bread.
To make the tufted duck and chicken liver parfait, you will need to start a day in advance. You can prepare the jelly either on the day you wish to serve the parfait or the day before, but note that it takes about 2 hours to set.
Ingredients & Method
For the tufted duck and chicken liver parfait
- 550g unsalted butter, plus extra, melted, for greasing the terrine mould
- 150g banana shallots, finely diced
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 60ml brandy
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
- 200g tufted duck breast meat, cut into 2cm pieces
- 450g chicken livers
- sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
For the red wine jelly
- 200ml red wine
- 30g caster sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon agar agar powder
To finish and serve
- 8–10 thin slices baguette
- 300g Red Wine-poached Quinces, cut into 1cm wedges not dice
- 100g (drained weight) pickled walnuts, drained and diced
- a handful of baby or mini/micro salad leaves
- rapeseed oil
Make the tufted duck and chicken liver parfait. Preheat the oven to 150°C/Gas Mark 2. Melt 50g of the butter in a non-stick frying pan, add the shallots and salt and pepper, then cover and sweat over a low heat for about 8 minutes or until the shallots are transparent but with no colour. Stir in the garlic, thyme, brandy and coriander seeds, then remove from the heat. Melt the remaining butter in a separate pan, then add it to the shallot mixture and leave to cool slightly.
Place the duck meat and chicken livers in a blender and slowly purée together until very smooth (see Cook’s Notes). With the motor running, slowly add the cooled shallot and butter mixture and salt and pepper and blend to form an emulsion.
Grease a 28 x 12 x 11cm terrine mould with melted butter and transfer the blended duck meat mixture to the mould. Place the mould in a deep roasting tin and pour in enough warm water to come two-thirds of the way up the sides of the mould. Cover the terrine mould with its lid, or cover with non-stick baking paper and then foil to keep the paper in place. Cook in the oven for 45 minutes or until the parfait still has a slight wobble in the middle when shaken gently. Remove the terrine mould from the roasting tin and cool over ice for 30 minutes, then transfer to the fridge to set overnight.
The next day, put the parfait into a blender and blend until silky smooth, then transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving (see Cook’s Notes).
Meanwhile, make the red wine jelly. Combine all the jelly ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium heat, stirring, then reduce the heat and simmer for 1 minute, stirring. Remove from the heat and pour the hot liquid into a sturdy shallow white plastic tray, about 21 x 14cm in size (or a suitable container of a similar size) and leave to set completely at room temperature (don’t move the tray again until the mixture is set) – this will take about 2 hours. Once the jelly has set, refrigerate until you are ready to assemble the dish (see Cook’s Notes).
To finish and serve, toast both sides of the baguette slices and place a slice on to each serving plate. Top each baguette slice with a quenelle (or spoonful) of parfait. Decorate the plates with teaspoonfuls of red wine jelly, the red wine-poached quinces and pickled walnuts. Finish with a few baby salad leaves and a drizzle of rapeseed oil. Serve immediately.
When blending the duck meat and chicken livers, you need to be careful that the friction from the blender doesn’t heat the mixture, so it’s best to blend it in short bursts or in small quantities.
To store any leftover tufted duck and chicken liver parfait, put a piece of non-stick baking paper directly on to the surface of the parfait to preventing it from discolouring. Cover the container with a tight-fitting lid, then place in the fridge and use within 3 days.
Store any leftover red wine jelly in an airtight container in the fridge and use within 3 days.