Duck with Grapefruit, Kale and Hazelnut

Serves 4

Rich duck and creamy hazelnuts pair with bright and zingy grapefruit for an unforgettable and soul-warming dish.

Serve with MadFish Cabernet Merlot.


4 x 200g duck breast – trimmed of any sinew.
2 grapefruits
300g hazelnuts
300g soy milk
Salt to taste
Sherry vinegar to taste
Hazelnut oil to taste
150g glucose
50g Campari
10g fresh thyme, leaves and stalks separated, both reserved

Duck Breast

Pat dry the duck breasts with a paper towel. Score the duck skin with sharp knife, making sure to not cut into the flesh. Season the duck breasts on both sides with salt and pepper. Starting with a cold and dry oven-safe skillet, place the duck breasts skin side down. Cook for 12-15 minutes over medium heat. Flip the breasts over and sear the other side for 1 minute. Flip to the skin side down, and transfer the skillet to the oven. Roast for 4 minutes for medium rare, or 6 minutes for medium, rest the duck skin-side up for 10 minutes. So not discard the fat in the pan.

Deglaze the pan with the grapefruit jus and the butter and stir with a spoon to collect the sediment from the pan. Bring to boil to emulsify the butter into the liquid then add the kale to the pan, top with a lid and cook for 30 seconds to lightly wilt the greens. Remove the lid, add the diced and blanched grapefruit skin, the roasted hazelnut pieces and the freshly picked thyme leaves. Remove from the heat. Allow to sit for 30 seconds before adding the fresh grapefruit segments. Serve immediately.  

Grapefruit Brunoise, Segments and Grapefruit Jus 
A good, sharp knife is essential! The same technique I’m demonstrating for peeling and sectioning a grapefruit can be applied to oranges and other citrus. Cut off the north and south poles (top and bottom) just enough to expose the flesh of the fruit. Begin slicing off the peel, cutting from the north to the south poles, following the curve of the fruit. The goal is to remove all of the pith without sacrificing too much of the edible flesh of the fruit. Continue slicing off the peel, from top to bottom, moving all the way around the grapefruit. Go back and cut off any remaining bits of pith. Place the skin, skin side down onto a chopping board and carefully remove as much pith as possible, trying leave only the skin intact. Using a sharp knife, cut the skin into a very fine dice (2mm), when done place into a small pot and top up with water. Bring to boil, remove from the heat and drain. Return to a pan and repeat this process three times to remove the bitterness, when done set aside. To remove the first segment, cut from the outside to the centre just inside the membrane on either side of a section, remove the section to a bowl.

With the first segment out, there’s a little more room to see what you’re doing and manipulate the knife. Cut inside the membrane on the left side of the next segment. Leave the knife in the centre of the fruit, roll it up to the right so the knife is pulling the segment from the membrane on the other side, lifting out the segment as you roll the knife up to the right. By pulling the segment off of the membrane on the right side, rather than cutting it, you’ll remove all of the fruit’s flesh with the segment intact and not leave some attached to the membrane. Less waste, more to eat!

Repeat this step as you remove each segment. First cutting down the left side of the section and then rolling the knife up to pull the section away from the membrane on the right side of the segment. After all of the segments have been cut out and put in a bowl, take the leftover membranes in your hand, hold them over the bowl of segments, and squeeze out any remaining juice. Use the juice to make the jus. 

Combine the grapefruit juice with the honey, black pepper and thyme stalks and bring to a boil and reduce until a syrupy consistency has formed. Remove from the heat, add the Campari, adjust the seasoning and set aside to cool. 

To Roast the Hazelnuts
Preheat oven to 180°c, spread the whole hazelnuts in a single layer evenly over a baking tray and roast in oven for 10 minutes or until the hazelnuts are aromatic and lightly toasted and the skins have started to crack. Set aside 1 tablespoon per customer for finishing the dish and use the remainder to make the hazelnut puree. 

Hazelnuts skins can taste very bitter. To remove them place the hazelnuts in a clean tea towel and gently rub together.

Hazelnut Puree 
In a small pot, combine the roasted hazelnuts with the soy milk and bring to boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook for half an hour until the liquid is reduced by half and the hazelnuts are starting to soften. Remove from the heat and place into a blender, blend until very smooth, drizzling in the hazelnut oil. Season to taste with the sherry vinegar and salt. Place into a piping bag and set aside

Thyme Oil

Blanch thyme on its stems for 4-5 minutes until very tender in a salted pot of boiling water. Cool in ice water and pull the leaves off the stems. Strain to obtain the leaves, squeeze them through a clean cloth and keep dry. Pick the parsley leaves and blanch them until tender. Dry as for the thyme. Process the oil and herbs at full speed at 60°c (140°f) in a thermomix***** for 12 minutes. Cool, then let macerate for 24 hours. Strain through a fine cloth, applying pressure for a few hours, and keep in a squeezy bottle

To serve squeeze a 50g portion of hazelnut puree onto the plate, use a spoon dipped in hot water to create an indent on the surface of the puree. Inside this put some thyme oil. Put the garnish of kale and grapefruit next to the puree and allow the sauce to flood the plate. Cut the rested duck in half lengthways, season slightly and then put on top of the kale garnish. Serve immediately