4 duck breastswith carcass
50 g duck hearts
4 pcs tonka beans
50 g Butter
1/2 teaspoon Salt
a dash Cognac
300 g duck sauce
Canard à la Presse or Pressed Duck is a traditional French dish that provides an extraordinary culinary experience. The dish was created in the 19th century by Parisian restaurant La Tour d’Argent and immediately became a sensation as it required a pair of duck presses plated in silver.
Chef Ulrik Jepsen shares this quite extravagant recipe: “a duck is dried for four days in order to keep the skin crisp, and then left to mature for 3-4 weeks.
Basically what you do is you put the duck (without the breasts and legs) into our custom-made duck press, made of real silver. You then press the carcass to extract the blood and juices of the duck.”
“The breasts are returned to the kitchen, and you now have 8 minutes to prepare the sauce at the table in front of the guests before the duck breasts have been cooked. The sauce is made by flambeing duck hearts with the blood and cognac and the experience is very visual and impressive for the guests”, says Chef Ulrik Jepsen.
How to Prepare the Duck
- Roast the duck for 10 minutes at 130 degrees Celsius (270 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Rest for 12 minutes. Let the duck rest so the juices reabsorb.
- Cook for another 8 minutes, and then rest for a further 7 minutes. so that it reserve all the juices.
- The duck is seared on the outside while still relatively raw on the inside.
- The bones are separated from the meat. The breasts and thighs are brought back to the kitchen to be prepared there. The carcass and the organs will be put in the press (see below).
How to Prepare the Pressed Duck Sauce
- Begin by cooking the shallots in butter for around 3 minutes.
- Add the Tonka beans for 2-3 minutes (these are just for infusing).
- Add the orange juice.
- Add the duck sauce.
- Put the carcass and organs in the duck press to extract the blood.
- Add the blood to the sauce and cook very slowly, adding salt and cognac. The extracted blood and juices add incredible richness to the sauce.
- Then serve over the duck breast meat.
At restaurant À L’aise, Head Chef Ulrik Jepsen uses a traditional silver press to extract juices from the carcass. However, if you are preparing this dish at home, you can omit this step. A duck carcass press is very expensive and buying one, if not meant to use frequently, doesn’t make much sense.