Kit Wohl recipe: Caribbean Room's Duck Carbonara

The following recipe from Kit Wohl's Cookbook Studio is courtesy of her book New Orleans Classic Brunches (Pelican Publishing). She appears regularly in the kitchen on the Sunday edition of Eyewitness Morning News, Sundays at 6 a.m.

Many young New Orleanians had their first grown up, civilized meal in public for Sunday brunch at the Caribbean Room. Now, once again and somewhat years later, they may return to the newly restored Pontchartrain Hotel this time with their grandchildren to create more delicious family memories. Executive Chef Chris Lusk and Executive Sous Chef Erin Swanson have assembled a first string crew of talent, researched and updated the original recipes, and added some new tastes to the tradition.

The Pontchartrain Hotel Caribbean Room Duck Carbonara 
Serves Four

½ cup  Duck Pancetta (recipe follows)
1/3 cup Fresh Field Peas, blanched
½ lb  Papardelle Pasta (or any other flat, wide pasta) Chicken Stock
1 cup  Chicken stock
2 oz.  Pea Shoots
4 ea  Poached Eggs
1 Tbsp  Butter, cut into cubes
2 ea  Egg Yolks, beaten
2 oz  Olive Oil
To Taste Chile Flake
To Taste Salt & Pepper

For the Duck Pancetta

2 ea  Large Duck Breast, trimmed of excess fat Kosher Salt
1 Tbsp  Sugar
1 Tbsp  Curing Salt #1 (aka pink salt)
2 ea  Garlic Cloves, thinly sliced
1 tsp  Chile Flakes
1/3 tsp  Juniper berry, crushed
1 tsp   Orange Zest
⅓ tsp   Fennel Seed, crushed
1 ea   Rosemary Sprig

Allow duck to temper at room temperature until flesh side begins to sweat then pat dry. Combine salt, sugar, pink salt, garlic, chili flakes, juniper, orange zest, and fennel and then mix thoroughly.  Rub both sides of the duck with the cure mixture; pay special attention to not over salting the flesh side.  Place ducks on a metal rack with a pan underneath skin side down and allow curing covered in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days or until duck is firm.  Flip ducks over once every day.  After 4 days, pat ducks dry and put two flesh side together with rosemary sprig between and press with a pan that is weighted down for 24 hours. Remove rosemary sprig and slice breasts into ¼” strips.

To Assemble the Dish:

Poach the eggs in equal parts white vinegar and water until the whites are set.  Remove from poaching liquid and set aside.  Warm a large skillet over medium heat and lightly sauté the duck strips in the olive oil for three minutes.  Remove the duck and sauté the field peas for about a minute.  In heavily salted water, boil pasta until al dente.  Strain pasta and set aside for later. Add the chicken stock and allow to reduce by more than half.  Add the cooked pasta and lightly toss in skillet with reduced stock, peas and duck pancetta.  Slowly add in egg yolks while constantly stirring the pasta. Swirl in butter with rendered duck and season to taste.  Place in a pasta bowl in a nest with a wide top in order to set the poached egg on top. 

Garnish with pea shoots.

This Kit Wohl's Cookbook Studio recipe is courtesy of her book New Orleans Classic Brunches (Pelican Publishing). She appears regularly in the kitchen on the Sunday edition of Eyewitness Morning News, Sundays at 6 a.m.


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