"The course itself was superb. There was loads of 'hands on' time and both Maynard and Benedict were there at all times to help and advise. I never felt out of water or left out - this is always my biggest fear when I go on a course. My husband says that my cooking has improved and from the day I came back he could taste the difference in everything I made!"
1. Put all ingredients except for the veal jus into a small saucepan, bring to the boil and reduce by half.
2. Add veal jus, (you could also use a reduced duck stock) reduce to required consistency. Skim off any impurities, pass the sauce through a fine sieve, and season to taste. It is now ready to use.
Stir-fried vegetables For this you will need: 1/2 red pepper, 1/2 green pepper, 1 large carrot, 150g bean sprouts, 150g mange tout, 100g cooked chinese egg noodles, 1 tspn of fresh ginger - finely chopped, tablespoon of ground nut oil, 1/2 tspn of sesame oil. Cut pepper, carrot and mange tout into thin strips, and have all other ingredients assembled ready to use.
Duck breast To cook the duck breast take a heavy based frying pan and pre-heat it until very hot. Add a tablespoon of cooking oil and place duck breast into the pan, non fat side first and cook until just sealed. Turn heat down to a medium heat, add a large knob of butter and turn over the breast. Cook for about 5 to 6 minutes or until the middle of the breast is pink and fairly firm to touch.
Throughout the cooking process constantly baste the breasts. When cooked remove the breasts from pan and leave to rest for 5 minutes. Put the sauce on the stove to heat.
While the duck is resting, cook the stir-fried vegetables. Heat frying pan or wok to high temperature, add both oils and very quickly cook the peppers, carrots and mange tout, then add the ginger, noodles and bean sprouts and cook for a further couple of minutes until just cooked. Season with salt and pepper, and this is now ready to use.
With this dish, as with most dishes it is all about timing. It is important to get the 3 different elements (sauce, veg & duck) ready at the same time; then serve.
With this dish we like to serve the leg of the duck. We start of by confiting the drumstick, and making a duck farce with the thigh meat. We then half fill a spring roll pasty basket with the farce and place the confit leg on top, and finish it off in the oven.
The stir-fried vegetables can be prepared the day before, including the noodles. It is a nice idea to marinate the duck breast in a suitable marinade or spices. The sauce can also be made the day before.
Experience the reality of gourmet cooking yourself. There is only one way to learn and that is to do it! Top chefs, luxury accommodation, set in France - the home of gourmet cuisine; what more could you ask for?
Your hosts and tutors are acclaimed chefs Maynard Harvey and Emerson Farrar, two modern chefs who use the freshest ingredients with an emphasis on distinct flavours and clean, meticulous presentation. Their passion and enthusiasm for cooking will stimulate your own love of food, and their expertise will help you gain confidence and perfect your technique in the kitchen.
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