THE Dish: Chef Alfred Portale's pan roasted duck breast

(CBS News) Chef Alfred Portale is executive chef and partner at one of New York's most iconic restaurants, Gotham Bar and Grill, which will soon celebrate its 30th anniversary.

Special section: Food and wine

Portale is not new to the restaurant, in fact, he began is his career there 28 years ago and will celebrate his own personal 30th anniversary with the restaurant in 2015.

Portale was not always in the food business, he began his career as a jewelry designer and started attending the Culinary Institute of America after some of his pieces were stolen.

He hasn't lost his passion for design and still has a wood workshop where he creates everything from cutting boards to tables.

The acclaimed chef has three James Beard awards under his culinary belt and is known as a pioneer in new American fine dining cuisine.

Portale just released the "Greenmarket to Gotham," which is a mini-cookbook based on the restaurant's Greenmarket Gotham prix-fixe lunch series.

He shared his ultimate dish, pan roasted duck breast with caramelized peaches on "CBS This Morning: Saturday."

Pan Roasted Duck Breast with Green Peppercorn Sauce and Roasted Peaches

Duck:

2 Moulard (Magret) duck breasts between 12-14 ounces.

Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Extra-virgin olive oil.

1. Trim away excess skin and fat from each breast.

2. Using a sharp knife, score the skin lightly in a cross hatch pattern without cutting into the flesh.

3. Season the duck on both sides with salt and pepper.

4. Heat the oil in an ovenproof saute pan set over medium-high heat.

5. Season the duck breast with salt and pepper, and add them to the pan, skin-side down.

6. Cook slowly, allowing the fat to render gradually, until the skin is nicely browned (approximately 6 minutes).

7. Turn the duck breasts over and continue cooking, basting occasionally, for 4 minutes for medium-rare.

8. Remove the pan from the heat and cover the duck breasts with foil to keep it warm.

Roasted Peaches:

2-3 large ripe peaches - peeled, pit removed and sliced into 1/2 inch wedges

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

3 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons Kentucky bourbon

Freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat butter in a large saute pan set over medium-high heat.

2. Add sugar and stir together. When beginning to brown, add peaches.

3. Raise the heat to high and toss the peaches until lightly caramelized.

4. Deglaze the pan with bourbon and reduce (until peaches are completely glazed; about 4 minutes).

5. Finish with a few grindings of black pepper.

Green Peppercorn Sauce:

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot

1 garlic clove finely chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons brine-packed green peppercorns, drained and rinsed

1 cup dry red wine (preferably Cabernet Sauvignon)

1 cup brown chicken stock

1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Coarse salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste

1. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook, stirring often, until it's lightly browned (about 2 minutes).

2. Add the garlic and half the green peppercorns and cook until the garlic is fragrant (about 1 minute). Pour in the wine and bring to a boil over high heat.

3. Cook until the wine is reduced to a syrup, (about 10 minutes).

4. Add the stock and water and cook until well flavored and reduced to 1 cup (about 10 minutes). Strain the sauce into a small saucepan. Whisk in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Stir in the remaining green peppercorns and season with salt and pepper.

5. Thinly slice the duck breast and arrange on plate with peaches. Spoon the sauce over. Pass the remaining sauce on the side.

Roasted Summer Vegetables

1 head fennel (top trimmed, cut in half and sliced into » slices)

1 bunch French Breakfast radish (tops trimmed)

12 baby rainbow carrots (tops trimmed)

12 baby candy cane beets (tops trimmed and cut in half)

12 Tokyo turnips (tops trimmed and cut in half)

2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste

1. Heat the oil in an oven proof sauté pan.

2. Add the vegetables to the pan and place in a pre-heated oven at 400» for 10 minutes until tender and golden brown.

3. When cooked, place 2 pieces of butter in the pan and season with salt and pepper.

4. Cover and keep warm.

Soft Polenta with Corn

2 1/2 cups White Chicken Stock

2 cups whole milk

Coarse salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste

1 cup instant polenta

3 ears of corn - cooked, shucked and kernels removed from the cob

2 tablespoons butter

1. In a medium saucepan combine the stock and milk.

2. Season with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil over high heat.

3. Stir in the polenta.

4. Reduce the heat and continue stirring with a wooden spoon for about 5 minutes, or until the polenta is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the pan.

5. Add the cooked corn kernels and butter, and gently fold into the polenta.

Summer Melon Salad, Beans, Mint and Aged Red Wine Vinaigrette</p>

3/4 pounds mixed string beans (green & yellow wax beans, romano & purple beans)

1/2 cup fresh shell beans (cranberry, lima and fava beans)

3 cups ripe honeydew (or Crenshaw) melon - cut into » inch dice

1 shallots - finely minced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Lemon vinaigrette

12 sprigs chervil

10 mint leaves - chiffonade

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1. Cook the beans individually in batches in boiling salted water.

2. When tender, transfer to ice water. When cooled, drain and reserve.

3. In a large salad bowl, combine the beans, shell beans, melon and shallot.

4. Dress with aged red wine vinaigrette and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

5. Arrange on a chilled serving plate and garnish with chervil and mint.

Aged Red Wine Vinaigrette

2 tablespoons aged red wine vinegar

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Combine all ingredients and whisk together.

Hook and Blush Cocktail

2 ounces Greenhook gin

1/2 ounce Dolin Blanc

1 1/4 ounce strawberry rhubarb purée

2 dashes rhubarb bitters

Strawberries (for garnish)

Method:

1. Shake. Double strain into rocks glasses with ice.

2. Wipe the rim of the glass with a lemon twist (then discard).

3. Garnish the rim with a slice of strawberry.

Gotham Chocolate Cake

1 pound bittersweet chocolate (Callebaut or Lindt)

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate - finely chopped

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons strong brewed coffee

6 large eggs

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup heavy cream

1. Preheat oven to 325». Lightly butter the inside of a 10 inch round cake pan. Line the bottom of the pan with a circle of parchment paper.

2. In a medium saucepan, melt the bittersweet and unsweetened chocolates with the coffee.

3. In a heavy duty mixing bowl (that attaches to an electric mixer), whisk together the eggs and sugar.

4. Set the bowl over a medium saucepan of simmering water (not boiling) and whisk until the mixture is warm to the touch and the sugar is dissolved (about 2 minutes).

5. Attach the bowl to the mixer and beat at medium speed (until light and almost tripled in volume - about 3 minutes). Reduce the speed to medium-low and continue beating for another 2 minutes. Set aside.

6. In a chilled bowl, beat the cream just past the soft peak stage until it can hold its shape.

7. Fold a quarter if the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture.

8. Fold this lightened chocolate mixture back into the remaining egg mixture.

9. Fold in the whipped cream. Transfer to he prepared pan, smooth the top and tap the filled pan lightly to settle any air pockets.

10. Place the pan in a larger baking pan and put in the oven. Add enough hot water to the baking pan to come up half way up the side of the cake pan. Bake for 30 minutes.

11. Open the oven door for 30 seconds to release any excess moisture that builds in the oven.

12. Continue baking until the center of the cake feels somewhat firm in the middle (another 20-30 minutes). Let the cake cool in the turned-off oven for 2 hours.

13. Run a warm knife around the inside pf the pan and carefully un-mold the cake onto a 10 inch cardboard round or an ovenproof serving platter.

14. Peel off the parchment paper. Wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled and firm - at least 4 hours or overnight.

15. Remove cake from refrigerator (or freezer) and allow it to return to room temperature (allow 4 hours if frozen).

16. At least 1 hour before serving the cake, preheat the oven to its lowest setting.

17. Place the plastic wrapped cake on a baking sheet. Transfer it to the oven and let the cake slowly warm through (at least 30 minutes and up to 3 hours).

18. Using a thin bladed knife dipped in hot water, cut the chilled cake into 12 wedges.

19. Wipe the knife clean between slices. Do not separate the slices. Rewrap the entire cake in plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze.

  • Shoshana Davis

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