Crispy Duck Egg, Langoustine, Watercress, Spring Radishes, and Gruyère
Photos by Vicky Wasik
+ Click image to enlarge

Crispy Duck Egg, Langoustine, Watercress, Spring Radishes, and Gruyére
Chef Gavin Kaysen of Café Boulud – New York, NY
Adapted by
May 2010
Yield: 6 Servings


Crispy Duck Eggs:
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
6 fresh duck eggs
½ cup flour
1 egg, beaten
1 cup panko
Canola oil

8 ounces poached langoustines
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Zest and juice of 1 orange
3 tablespoons olive oil

Watercress Purée:
3 bunches watercress, washed and picked
4 ounces spinach leaves, washed

Mornay Sauce:
½ onion
2 cloves
1 bay leaf
3½ cups whole milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup grated Gruyère cheese

Spring Radish Salad:
8 ounces grilled spring onions
½ cup cooked snap peas, split
½ cup cooked English peas
1 small bunch thinly sliced red radishes
Extra virgin olive oil

To Assemble and Serve:
Watercress leaves
4 ounces duck prosciutto, thinly sliced
Gruyère cheese

For the Crispy Duck Eggs:
Fill a large pot with water, salt it, then add the vinegar and bring to a boil. Set a bowl of ice water on the side. Add the duck eggs to water, and boil for 5 minutes. Remove the eggs and chill in the ice water. When chilled, peel the eggs and discard the shells. Arrange your breading setup: put flour, beaten egg, and panko into separate shallow dishes. Coat the soft boiled eggs with flour, pat away excess, coat in egg, and then coat in the panko. Chill. When ready to serve, fill a medium saucepot ⅓ of the way with canola oil and heat until it reaches 350°F on a candy thermometer. Deep fry the eggs one at a time until golden brown. Remove and drain onto a paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle with salt.

For the Langoustine:
Toss cooked langoustine in citrus zest, citrus juice and olive oil, then chill.

For the Watercress Purée:
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Set a bowl of ice water on the side. Boil the remaining watercress with the spinach leaves until very tender. Remove and chill in the ice water. Transfer leaves to a blender and purée with a small amount of ice water to reach a smooth yet thick consistency. Season and chill.

For the Mornay Sauce:
Stud the onion with the cloves and bay leaf. In a small saucepot, combine the milk and onion and simmer for 5 minutes. Discard the onion. In small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and whisk in the flour until blended but not colored. Gradually whisk in the hot milk and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Whisk in the cheese until well incorporated. Pass through a fine-meshe sieve, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, and reserve warm.

For the Spring Radish Salad:
In a medium bowl, toss the spring onions, snap peas, English peas, and radishes with a drizzle of the olive oil, salt and pepper.

To Assemble and Serve:
Place a spoonful of watercress purée in the center of each salad plates. Arrange a handful of vegetable salad on top. Place a warm, crispy egg on top of the salad and arrange watercress leaves, langoustines and duck prosciutto around the egg. Place a few small spoonfuls of Mornay sauce around the rim of the plate and finish by grating Gruyère cheese on top of the egg with a microplane.