Mole Duck Taco with Puffed Rice, Avocado Cilantro Puree, Pineapple Radish Salsa and Cotija

Grand Prize 2016 Chef Recipe Contest, Executive Sous Chef Eljesa Haxhiu, Gwinnett Technical College, Lawrenceville, GA


Serving Size {4 Servings}


Sous Vide and Fried Duck:
1 Tbsp Coriander, toasted, ground
12 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 Tbsp Kosher Salt
2 Maple Leaf Farms All Natural Duck Legs

2 Cloves, whole
1/2 tsp Anise Seeds, ground
1/2 tsp Coriander Seeds
4 Black Peppercorns
1/2 Cinnamon Stick
2 Allspice Berries, whole
1 Roma Tomato, quartered
1 Tomatillo, quartered
Vegetable Oil, as needed
2 oz Yellow Onion, small dice
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1/2 oz Ancho Chili, dried
1/2 oz Pasilla Chili, dried
2 Tbsp Almonds, slivered
2 Tbsp Pumpkin Seeds
1 Tbsp Peanuts
1.5 oz Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce
1 Tbsp Raisins, golden
1 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
1/2 tsp Thyme, dry
1 6-inch Corn Tortilla, crumbled
14 oz Chicken Stock
1 oz Bittersweet Chocolate, 58%
12 oz Water, divided
Kosher Salt, to taste

Corn Powder:
16 oz Water
10 oz Corn Kernels, frozen

Puffed Rice:
16 oz Water
4 oz Rice, long grain
Kosher Salt, season to taste

Avocado Cilantro Puree:
4 oz Vegetable Oil
2 Avocados, ripe
2 oz Water
2.5 oz Cilantro Leaves
1 Lime, zest and juice
Kosher Salt, to taste

Pineapple Radish Salsa:
3 oz Pineapple, ripe, small dice
1 oz Radish, (Red Glow), brunoise
1 oz Red Onion, brunoise
1 Tbsp Cilantro, minced
1 Lime, zest and juice
1/4 tsp Hot Sauce
Kosher Salt, to taste

1 oz Cotija, garnish


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Sous Vide and Fried Duck:
1. Create a paste with coriander, garlic and salt.
2. Score duck skin; rub meat with paste. Place in a plastic bag and vacuum seal.
3. Set sous vide machine at 80 degrees C (176 degrees F); place vacuum bag in water bath and sous vide for 4 hours.
4. Remove duck meat from bag. Pull meat into large pieces.
5. When ready to plate: deep-fry duck in a 350-degree F fryer until crispy. Place on paper towels to soak up any excess grease. Toss duck with mole; finish with salt to taste. Plate as directed.

1. Prepare a day ahead for mole flavors to intensify.
2. Toast spices: cloves, anise seeds, coriander, black peppercorns, cinnamon and allspice in a sauté pan on low heat until fragrant; set to side.
3. In a sauté pan, add quartered Roma tomato and tomatillo; broil under broiler until charred on all sides. Remove skin from tomato and tomatillo quarters; set to side.
4. In a heated sauté pan, add vegetable oil to coat the surface of the pan. Sauté onions until golden brown; add garlic and sauté until fragrant.
5. Add dried chiles (ancho and pasilla) and nuts; toast until fragrant and golden.
6. Add chipotle peppers, raisins, sesame seeds, thyme and toasted spices. Cook for a few minutes until raisins rehydrate. Then add charred tomatoes, tomatillos and crumbled corn tortilla; stir.
7. Deglaze pan with chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to gentle simmer until stock reduces by half and dried chiles are tender; stir frequently.
8. Place mixture in blender, add chocolate and 8 ounces of water; puree until smooth. Season to taste with salt.
9. For plating: heat mole with 4 ounces of water, stirring constantly to prevent sticking or burning. Place in a bowl; add crispy fried duck pieces and gently toss so as not to break up meat. Plate as directed.

Corn Powder:
1. Bring water in a pot to a boil; add frozen corn and cook until tender. Strain water.
2. Place corn kernels on a dehydrator tray and dehydrate at 165 degrees F for 24 hours.
3. Using a spice grinder, grind corn to a powder.

Puffed Rice:
1. Bring water in a pot to a boil; add rice and reduce heat to gentle simmer. Cook until tender; season to taste with salt.
2. Place mixture in blender and puree until smooth.
3. Transfer mixture to a dehydrator tray lined with a silicone baking mat. Using an offset spatula, spread until you can see through to the silicone baking mat, approximately 1 millimeter thick.
4. Dehydrate at 165 degrees F for 24 hours until completely dry. Snap rice approximately 1.5 inches by 3 inches (won't be perfect).
5. For plating: Place dehydrated rice in a 350-degree F fryer until rice puffs and floats to surface. Remove from fryer and place on paper towels to absorb any excess fat. Season with corn powder on all sides.

Avocado Cilantro Puree:
1. Heat vegetable oil to 40 degrees C (104 degrees F); set to side.
2. Place avocado meat in a blender with 2 ounces of water; puree until paste consistency. Add cilantro leaves and heated oil; puree until smooth. Finish with lime juice and zest and then salt to taste.

Pineapple Radish Salsa:
1. Combine ingredients in a bowl; allow to sit for 30 minutes to an hour. Serve as directed.

1. Place the 1.5 inches x 3 inches corn-powdered rice puff in the center of a plate.
2. Add approximately 2 teaspoons of Avocado Cilantro Puree; spread gently. Be careful not to crush rice puff.
3. In a bowl, toss 1 ounce of mole with 1 ounce of crispy duck. Place meat on top of Avocado Cilantro Puree.
4. Add approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons of Pineapple Radish Salsa along duck meat.
5. Sprinkle 1 ounce of grated Cotija cheese on top.


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