From Justin Ferguson of Capital City Grill, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Winning Recipe from Louisiana for the 2008 Southern Breeze Gulf Coast Chef Challenge
4 duck breasts, scored
1 c. polenta
3 c. milk
2 ears corn
1/2 c. Parmigiano-Reggiano
4 sage leaves
4 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 bunches red Swiss chard, stems removed
2 bunches Dandelion greens
1 clove garlic, sliced thin
4 slices of foie gras
5 chili flakes
4 T. vegetable stock
Ingredients for sauce and garnish:
5 c. red wine
2 c. balsamic vinegar
1 orange, zest and juice
1 pint blackberries
4 bunches of basil, frozen *see below
1 cup of canola oil, frozen
For the sauce:
Pour wine and balsamic vinegar into a stainless steel pot. Reduce by three quarters. Add the orange zest and juice. Let cool. The sauce should be thick with a glassy look.
*For the basil oil (prepare the day before):
Freeze the canola oil. Blanch basil quickly in salty water. Ring out all water, make as dry as possible, then freeze. Once frozen, mix in a blender the frozen oil and frozen basil until incorporated, then let steep in cooler for one hour. Run the oil through a cheese cloth and collect all sediments — the oil should be bright green and clear.
For the polenta:
In a separate pot add 3 cups of milk, the sage, the kernels of two ears of corn and the cobs of the corn. Simmer for about ten minutes. Remove corncobs and discard. Add polenta and whisk until creamy, add Parmigiano-Reggiano, and salt and pepper to taste.
For the duck:
Lightly season duck breast with sea salt and fresh black pepper. Place 3 tablespoons olive oil in a pan and begin cooking duck breast fat side down. Sear on both sides until it has a deep brown golden color, reduce heat and cook to medium-rare.
For Swiss chard and dandelion greens:
In a sauté pan add remaining olive oil and sliced garlic. Cook over medium heat until garlic starts to brown. Once garlic has browned, discard from pan. Add red chili flakes. Add red Swiss chard and dandelion greens, with a pinch or two of sea salt and pepper. Then add vegetable stock. Sauté for one to two minutes.
For the foie gras:
(If you’re buying a raw duck liver, you’ll have to de-vein it and gently put it back together in a mold. I mold it back together and then wrap it in cheese cloth and hlde it in a salt and rosemary cure for three days, then hang it in my cooler to keep it dry). Take a three quarter to one inch slice off of the foie gras and sear in a very hot pan for about thirty seconds.
For the plating:
Place corn and sage polenta in center of plate, followed by the Swiss chard and dandelion greens. Slice duck breast and stack on top. Finish off with foie gras and micro greens. Place wine reduction around plate and basil oil on top on wine reduction for a bright finish. Place blackberries around dish for garnish.