4 duck breasts
6 large beetroots
50ml red wine
2 Granny Smith apples
Sea salt flakes & black pepper
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
For the duck, season it both sides with sea salt flakes, and cracked black pepper. To cook the duck, start heating from a cold frying pan, skin side down, and do not add oil. This process will let the fat come out of the duck. When it's seared and golden (about 3 to 4 mins), put it in the oven at 180 Celsius for around 8 minutes. After, take out from the oven. Rest it skin side up for another four minutes.
For the beetroot purée, roast six large beetroots in foil at 180 Celsius for three hours. Take it out from the oven, peel it and shred it into a heavy based sauce pot. Then add the 50 ml of red wine and juice of 2 apples (Granny Smiths), bring it to the boil and turn it down to a simmer until all liquid has been absorbed. Blend until smooth and pass through a fine sieve.
For the orange and fennel salad, shave one fennel with a vegetable slicer and soak it with iced water. Segment 1 orange, and finely chop some dill. Mix the shaved fennel with some orange segments and chopped fennel with salt, lemon juice, olive oil.
For the jus (a French style sauce), reduce a beef stock (any recipe) to 1/5th.
The story behind the recipe
This recipe, by Tony Cui, of Lane Cove's Suzie's Restaurant, is influenced by his experience in some of Sydney's most highly-acclaimed restaurants including Aria and Quay. Tony says he has "learnt from the very best chefs". He loves French cuisine and its traditions created over the 20th Century and more recently, focusing on emphasising the textures and flavours from the ingredients themselves. "It's more about the balance now," he says.
Tony says his experience growing up in China opened his eyes to enjoying a multitude of cuisines as, with both parents so busy working, he was encouraged from the age of 12 years to eat out every day. "My parents know the basics in cooking but because they were so busy, I had the opportunity from a young age to try anything available - Chinese, bistro, Japanese, Korean - all types of food - when I went out to eat," he says.
Tony says this recipe is extra special through its very crispy skin and the softness of the meat. The crispy skin is a Chinese tradition and the meat is cooked in the French style. "It's a well balanced dish - not as heavy as old school French, but also not as over-cooked as Chinese roasted duck. Absolutely beautiful!" Tony explains.
Suzie's Restaurant is located at 94B Longueville Road, Lane Cove:
Ph: (02) 9427 6018