Deeply colored and shiny with an unusual combination of honey, miso paste, and coffee, the duck appears almost lacquered. The Asian influence continues into the garnish, where apples are combined with peanuts and onions are spiked with a combination of lemon, ginger, and mint. Chef Alain Passard insists on ducks which have been strangled for Restaurant Arpege; this method preserves all the blood in the duck’s bodies, he says. In the U.S., his Breton “swamp duck” could be any wild duck; if necessary, domestic duck could be substituted.
- Whole Duck - 1, (about 4-1/2 pounds)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Unsalted Butter - 1 tablespoon
- Honey - 1/4 cup
- Miso paste - 1/4 cup
- Strong Black Coffee - 1 to 2 tablespoons
- Green Apples - 2
- Unsalted Butter - 2 tablespoons
- Onion - 1 medium
- Lemon peel - 1 teaspoon, ground dried
- Ginger - 1 teaspoon, ground dried
- Mint - 1 teaspoon, ground dried
- Peanuts - 1 tablespoon, finely chopped
- Fleur de sel
- Sesame oil for drizzling
To prepare the duck: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Clean the duck and sprinkle the cavity with salt and pepper. Put it in a small roasing pan and rub the skin with a little butter. Roast 70 minutes, or until completely cooked through. The duck could also be spit-roasted; this would take 70 to 80 minutes.
Reduce the oven temperature to 225 F. Place the duck, in its roasting pan, on a work surface. Drizzle the honey over the duck. Using a spoon, place miso paste on the duck, then spread to cover, spreading the honey in the process. Baste the duck with the black coffee. Place back in the oven for 5 minutes; remove and set aside to rest.
To prepare the garnish: Quarter and core the apples. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat and place the apples in the pan in a single layer. Saute, turning occasionally, until golden. After 2 minutes, stir in the peanuts. Meanwhile, slice the onion in half, then into very thin slices. Melt the remaining butter in another saute pan or skillet and add the onions. Combine the dried lemon peel, dried ginger, and dried mint in a small bowl. When the onions are nearly dry, stir in the lemon-ginger-mint mixture. Cook the onions until some of them are crisp. Season both the apples and onions with fleur de sel.
To serve: Put the duck on a serving platter. Drip a little sesame oil on the duck, and drizzle a circle of oil around the duck. Place an apple wedge on the duck and distribute the remaining wedges in the oil around the duck. Place a few onions on the duck, then distribute those remaining around the duck.