Duck Apicius with Hot Quince Jelly and Spiced Honey Glass
Chef Chris Young of Intellectual Ventures – Bellevue, WA
Adapted by
November 2009
Yield: 4 Servings


Date Puree:
 300 grams dates, pitted
9 grams ginger juice
90 grams water
1 gram ground black pepper
0.1 gram cardamom pod
1.2 grams salt  

Hot Quince Jelly:
 430 grams quince, halved and cored
280 grams sugar
550 grams water
7.8 grams citric acid
0.45 gram Kelcogel LT 100
0.9 gram Kelcogel F
Malic acid

Spiced Honey Glass:
 120 grams Tupelo honey, spray dried
120 grams sugar
120 grams trehalose
45 grams water
4 grams coriander seeds
2.5 grams Szechuan peppercorns
1.5 grams ground black pepper
1.2 grams fennel seeds

Turnips with Saffron:
 250 grams turnips, peeled
100 grams vegetable consommé
2 grams saffron threads
2 grams salt

2 250-gram Muscovy duck breasts
50 grams rendered duck fat

Pomegranate and Garum Jus:
300 grams pomegranate seeds
200 grams duck stock
20 grams garum or fish sauce
34 grams pomegranate juice
8 grams malt vinegar
4.8 grams Ultra-Sperse 3


For the Date Puree:
Put dates, ginger juice, water, pepper, cardamom, and salt in a vacuum bag and vacuum seal. Cook at 80°C for 12 hours. Pour the mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl. Press all of the date pulp through the sieve. Reserve chilled in a sealed container.

For the Hot Quince Jelly:
Combine the quince, 270 grams of the sugar, and water in a pressure cooker. To reduce browning, add enough citric acid until an inserted pH meter reads 5.5. Seal the pressure cooker and heat to full pressure; cook for 90 minutes. Let cool until the lid can safely be removed. Using an immersion blender, puree the mixture until smooth. Return the pressure cooker to the stovetop and simmer until a refractometer reads 46°Brix.

Prepare a rectangular casting mold approximately 8-inches wide, 12-inches long, and ¾-inches thick. Combine the Kelcogel LT 100 and the Kelcogel F with the remaining citric acid and 10 grams of sugar; blend using an immersion blender. Simmer for 2 minutes to hydrate the gellan gums. Add malic acid to taste. Transfer the mixture to the casting mold. Let cool to room temperature. Cut the gel into ¾-inch cubes. Refrigerate until needed.

For the Spiced Honey Glass:
Preheat an oven to 300°F. Combine the spray-dried honey, sugar, trehalose, and water. Heat while stirring until the mixture reaches 320°F. Spread the syrup onto a silicone mat; let cool and harden. Roughly break into shards. Transfer to a spice grinder and grind to a powder.

Using a mortar and pestle, crush the coriander, Szechuan peppercorns, black pepper, and fennel seeds. Sift with a fine sieve. Sift the ground sugar glass through a fine mesh sieve onto a silicone mat into a uniform 1/16 -inch thick layer. Evenly sprinkle with the crushed spices over the sugar powder. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the powder melts and fuses together with the spices.

Cut the glass into rectangles 1-inch wide and 3-inches in long. If the glass starts to crack, return the sugar glass to the oven briefly to soften it. Reserve in an air tight container along with a packet of silica gel.

For the Turnips with Saffron:
Using a mandolin, slice the turnip into ¼-inch thick slices. Combine the turnip slices, vegetable consommé, saffron, and salt in a vacuum bag. Vacuum seal and cook at 85°F for 35 minutes.

For the Duck:
Lay the duck breasts skin side down on an oiled, rigid metal plate that is just large enough to hold them. Put the breasts (still on the plate) into a vacuum bag and vacuum seal as tightly as possible. Place the sealed bag in the freezer for 30 minutes or until the surface of the duck breasts is frozen, but their cores remain unfrozen. Remove from the bag and render the duck breasts in a nonstick frying pan over low heat, until the fat layer beneath the skin is less than 1/16- inch thick. Transfer to a vacuum bag, vacuum seal, and reserve chilled.

For the Pomegranate and Garum Jus:
Place pomegranate seeds in a vacuum bag and vacuum seal. Use a rolling pin to crush the seeds in the bag to release their juice. Snip a corner of the bag and decant the fresh pomegranate juice through a fine sieve into a small pot. Add the duck stock and fish sauce to the pomegranate juice. Bring to a boil and remove from the heat; then cool. Adjust the acidity to taste with malt vinegar until an inserted pH meter reads 4.5. Add the Ultra-Sperse 3. Blend using an immersion blender until thick. Reserve chilled in a sealed container.

To Assemble and Serve:
Heat a water bath to 133°F; put the sealed duck breasts in the bath and cook for 25 minutes or until the breasts reach an internal temperature of 131°F. Heat a water bat to 158°F; reheat the turnips. Reheat the date puree and jus in pots and keep warm.

Preheat the oven at 158°F. Remove the duck from the bath and let rest for 10 minutes. Warm the quince jelly cubes in the oven until just heated through. Remove the duck breasts from the bag and pat dry. Sear the duck, skin side down on a very hot plancha. Place the date puree and hot quince jelly on a plate. Arrange the turnip slices. Slice the duck breast and arrange on the plate. Ladle the pomegranate-garum jus around the duck breasts. Garnish with the spiced honey glass.