Born and raised in Malta, Anton Camilleri started his culinary journey at a young age in the local hotel industry where he fell in love with food and never looked back. He continued to season his career by working in leading 5-star hotels locally and 2 Michelin-starred restaurants in Australia where he spent 16 years. Today he is back on the island and working at L’Agape restaurant in Rabat, Malta.
Extract taken from August's 2022 Il-Bizzilla Magazine | Read more here
This recipe combines the bold, moist and tender taste of duck with the earthly bean stew and sweet parsnips to tentalise your taste buds.
Pan Seared Duck Breast with Spiced Bean Cassoulet and Caramelised Parsnips
1 duck breast
200g cooked red or pinto beans
200g onion, finely chopped
80g chorizo sausage
80g tomato sauce
50ml extra virgin olive oil
300ml vegetable stock
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
A pinch of sweet paprika
1/2 orange zest
1 parsnip, peeled and cut lengthwise in wedges
A pinch of ground cumin
A pinch of sugar
Salt and pepper
80ml prepared demi-glace/gravy
In a casserole dish heat the oil and start by sweating the onions and garlic until translucent. Add the Chorizo, paprika, fresh thyme and seasoning and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Add drained beans, tomato sauce, stock and orange zest. Cook on a gentle heat until sauce reduces to desired consistency.
With a very sharp knife start by scoring the duck breast fat in a cross-hatch pattern making sure not to reach the flesh.
Season the duck with salt heavily on the fat side and just lightly on the flesh side. Start by cooking the breast fat side down in a cold pan. No oil is needed as the fat from the breast will be enough. You need low to moderate heat (depending on your stove) to render the fat to a crispy stage without overcooking the breast meat. Listen to the oil sizzling ... you should hear a continuous gurgling ... too low and you will have excess raw fat... too high and you will get dry overcooked meat.
When you get a nice carmelised colour on the fat it’s time to turn up the heat and flip the breast to the meat side.
Cook for another 2 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 54ºC for medium-rare or 60ºC for medium. Rest the breast for around 10 minutes on a drip tray lightly covered to keep warm.
Finally in a skillet heat the butter and add the parsnip wedges. Season and cook until parsnips start to brown lightly. Add sugar and cumin and continue cooking until parsnips are tender and the sauce is a syrupy consistency. Plate by starting with the bean cassoulet, followed by the carved duck breast, caramelised parsnips and finally your prepared sauce.