Duck Roulade

After all my duck roasting I had one more duck breast left! Never shop while hungry. Alas my ban on smoking up the house has been reinstated, and for days I was SOL. Then one day, the French Laundry cookbook arrived on my doorstep… and it has a duck recipe that doesn’t require spewing oil particles into the air.

*Rant about plastic.*

However, it does require you to boil plastic. I am a health freak when it comes to these things and I researched if it’s safe to boil plastic wrap for 5 hours. I don’t even reheat my food in plastic tupperware. For one, I don’t like the idea of scraping at plastic with metal utensils, or chomping down on plastic with my teeth. Particles inevitably end up in my stomach.

In any case, the general consensus seems to be that some plastics are okay, including microwavable plastic wrap like saran wrap. Okay I half believe that, so I bought extra swiss chard to protect myself. Maybe I’m just lying to myself, but because of my obsession of plastic, unless I can find another way to keep the roulade wrapped and properly moisturized, I won’t be making this again even though it tasted great.

*End rant about plastic*


At least 4 well preserved leaves of swiss chard

1 duck breast

plastic wrap or sous vide bag

salt and pepper to season

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I picked up some *beautiful* swiss chard at the farmer’s market. They were so shiny and waxy that I almost didn’t want to cook them, but then I realized that they would wilt and go to waste.

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Boil the swiss chard in salt water for 3-4 minutes, and then fish them out and put them in ice water.

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This is the infamous extra duck breast.

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Goodbye delicious layer of fat. Remove the fat by scraping your knife vertically against the fat to release the thin layer of membrane attaching the skin to the fat. I’m sure there are videos about this. I was by myself so I couldn’t make a video for you. But you cut a little, and you tear a little with your hands, and the skin comes of quite nicely.

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You then cut the duck laterally into 2 pieces. I didn’t know what Thomas Keller meant by “cut in half” the duck breast is quite symmetrical, and there are 3 ways to cut the duck in half, but since the dish is called “roulade” I’m assuming I’m rolling stuff… maybe not just the duck in the chard, but the duck itself? So I made two flat sheets of duck. All I know is that you’re not supposed to cut the breast into 2 flat little squares.

Next time I go to one of his restaurants that serves this, I’m going to have to poke it open to figure out what’s up.

I also removed the tenderloin, but couldn’t find a use for it, so I wrapped it right back up in one of the roulades. Remove the spines carefully from the chard, and overlay a couple of pieces so that there are no gaps.

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Then you make a duck and swiss chard burrito! Remember to season both sides of the duck before you wrap it. I was still paranoid about the plastic, so I kept the red spined chard to wrap the duck, and then kept additional white spined chard to add and extra protective layer between my roulade and the plastic. I would then throw the white spined chard (with the spine on rolled parallel to the roll) into the trash.

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See the extra layer of chard? Take a very long piece of plastic, rolled it up so you can twist the ends to tightly seal the cylinder of chard/duck. I twisted the ends into a rope and brought the two twisty ends together and crossed them across the center of the roulade and tied this little bugger like a Christmas present.

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Either use a sous vide machine, or stick a thermometer in a pot of boiling water and watched it carefully to maintain the temperature at 190 degrees Farenheit. I carefully flipped the roulade in the middle to make sure that it’s cooked. The recipe calls for 8 minutes to get the duck to medium, but I cooked it for 10… because no sous vide machine, paranoia, and my roll looked fatter than the picture.

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At least the roll on the left was quite fatter than what they would serve at a 3 Michelin star restaurant. Let sit for 2-3 or 15 minutes.

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The roulade sliced beautifully. I loved the color contrast between the pink duck and green chard. The red veins of the leaf added to the effect. So beautiful!!

It was supposed to serve 1 piece of duck (as in one fifth of one cylinder) over a tiny dollop of corn, and some mushrooms and some jus, but I didn’t like the mushroom selection in the market, I love duck, and I love corn. I gorged myself.

DON’T MISS OUT on the delicious corn recipe!

Perhaps I got overzealous?

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After we ate 7 pieces, it did resemble something like Thomas Keller’s photo.

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I loved everything about this except for the plastic wrapper. Once I figure out a way to poach meat without using plastic, boys and girls, we will have a do an entire blog series.

For now, just leave me to my last two pieces.

Bon appétit!

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