Recipe: Ben Crittenden's duck liver parfait

15 October 2020
Recipe: Ben Crittenden's duck liver parfait

Taken from Stark, by Ben and Sophie Crittenden

Duck parfait

  • 200g shallots
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 100ml Madeira
  • 100ml port
  • 100ml brandy
  • 300g duck livers
  • 100g foie gras
  • 100g hazelnut butter
  • 1tsp salt
  • ½tsp curing salt
  • 5 eggs
  • 400g melted butter

Roughly chop the shallots and garlic. Sweat down with the thyme and bay for 5-10 minutes. Add the Madeira, port and brandy and reduce until barely any liquid is left. Allow to cool slightly then blitz in the Thermomix with the livers, foie gras, hazelnut butter and the two salts. Add the eggs and blitz again. Then slowly add the butter on speed 7 until it is thoroughly mixed.

Now pass through a fine sieve into a container. Cover the top with cling film on the surface of the parfait mix and allow to set overnight. Divide into two vacuum-pack bags and seal. Cook at 63ºC for one hour, then empty the mix back to a blender and blitz for 30 seconds or until smooth. Now allow to set in the fridge until ready to serve.

Orange purée

  • 1 orange
  • 100g sugar
  • 300ml orange juice
  • Ultratex

Cut the orange into six and vacuum with the sugar and orange juice. Cook sous vide 85ºC for five hours or until the skin is soft. Add to blender and blitz on full until smooth. Add 1tbs of Ultratex and blitz. Check the consistency and add more Ultratex if needed until you reach a smooth, thick purée.

Duck leg

  • 150g coarse sea salt
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • ½ bunch thyme
  • 1tbs black peppercorns
  • 8 fatty duck legs
  • 4 shallots
  • 50ml brandy
  • 25g parsley

Blitz the salt, garlic, thyme and peppercorns. Rub this cure mix into the duck legs, cover in a container and leave for 24 hours in the fridge. Wash off the salt mix and place the duck legs in vacuum-pack bags (three per bag). Cook at 88ºC for six hours. Dice the shallots and sweat. Add the brandy and reduce by half. Remove the duck from the bags. Flake the flesh down and mix with the shallots. Allow to cool slightly and add the chopped parsley. Roll into neat ballotines using cling film.


  • 100g butter
  • 100g demerara sugar
  • 100g treacle
  • 175g golden syrup
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 20g ground ginger
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 egg
  • 150g milk

Heat the butter, sugar, treacle and golden syrup gently until the butter has melted. Beat the mixture into the flour, ginger and salt and mix well to ensure there are no lumps of flour. Beat the egg and milk together and slowly add to the mix. Divide the mix into 2-inch rings lined with tin foil. Bake for 30 minutes at 160ºC. Remove from the rings and refrigerate overnight so the cakes firm up. Then slice as thinly as possible into discs and dehydrate for a minimum of eight hours.

To serve

  • Toasted hazelnuts
  • Chervil

Slice the ballotine into 1cm slices and place on a plate. Top with a gingerbread slice and the parfait. Add dots of the purée and garnish with toasted hazelnuts and chervil.

  • Photography by Michelle Martin*

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