Gastronomixs

Duck, dates, and sour cherries

This month's guest chef is the Dutch chef Lode van Zuylen. Together with Stijn Remi, he runs Lode & Stijn restaurant, a well-known name in the Berlin food scene. After gaining experience in restaurants in Amsterdam, Maastricht, Prague, Stockholm, Hamburg, and San Francisco, the two chefs opened their own restaurant in Berlin. Here, they focus on seasonal dishes, sustainability, and craftsmanship. The dishes are worldly, modern, simple, and authentic.

Lode and Stijn met during their studies, after which they went on to gain experience in different restaurants. Lode worked at Mathias Dahlgren in Stockholm and in the kitchen of Bar Tartine in San Francisco, while Stijn gained experience working at the Four Seasons in Prague and Hamburg. Despite each going their own way, they had always fantasised about opening a restaurant together. Eventually they both ended up in Berlin, where they first started several spectacular pop-ups, and after which they opened their own restaurant. When dining at Lode & Stijn, you will also get to taste Lode's unique sourdough bread, which is famed for being one of the best breads in Berlin.

The preparations of this dish start in late summer as this is when the sour cherries are in season.

Picture by Kelly Elizabeth Tivnan.

Creation by Lode van Zuylen, Lode & Stijn restaurant, Berlin, Germany.

Duck, dates, and sour cherries

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Ingredients

As needed:

 

sour cherries

As needed:

 

sugar

As needed:

 

red wine vinegar

As needed:

 

salt

10

 

medjoul dates

 

 

salt

 

 

freshly ground black pepper

150

g

whey

As needed:

 

radicchio

2

kg

duck, whole

4

 

shallots

500

g

red wine

250

g

balsamic vinegar

500

g

poultry stock

2

cloves

garlic

2

sprigs

thyme

8

 

peppercorns

 

 

bay leaves

 

 

olive oil

Preparation method: duck
  • Cuts the legs and wings from the duck.
  • Cut the shallots into thin slices.
  • Cut the garlic into very thin slices.
  • Fry the legs and the wings until golden brown and take them out of the pan.
  • Pour off the fat.
  • Add plenty of olive oil to the pan, up to about half a centimetre.
  • Add the onions, fry gently, but don't let them get too brown.
  • Add the garlic, pepper corns, bay leaves, and thyme.
  • Add the red wine to the pan and reduce to half.
  • Pour in the balsamic vinegar and reduce further.
  • Add the legs and the wings.
  • Add the poultry stock and enough water to cover.
  • Continue to cook until the meat is done. This will take a few hours.
  • Remove the legs and the wings from the pan and remove the meat from the bones.
  • Allow the sauce to thicken in the meantime.
  • Pour the sauce through a sieve and use a wooden spoon to push the contents through the sieve until all the liquid has seeped through.
  • Once the sauce has reached the right thickness, add the meat and allow to thicken again to the right consistency.
  • The stew must be tart yet hearty; you must be able to taste the shallots and the balsamic vinegar. If the sauce starts to split because of the olive oil, it's actually a good sign.
  • Roast the rest of the ducks in the oven at 80°C, until a core temperature of 58/60°C.
  • Rest the ducks for at least an hour.
  • Remove the fillets from the carcass and fry in a pan, skin-side down. You don't need any fat for this
  • Turn and briefly cook on the other side and then set aside to rest for at least fifteen minutes. Slice the fillets.
Preparation method: preserved sour cherries
  • Pit the cherries and put them in a tray overnight. This will allow the juices to drain, which you need to make the preserve.
  • Place the sour cherries on a sieve and use the juices to create a delicious, tart preserving liquid using the sugar, a good red wine vinegar, and a little salt. You can be quite generous with the vinegar, if you like.
  • Add the pitted cherries, quickly bring to the boil, and pour into the preserving jars.
  • Place in the refrigerator when cooled down.
Preparation method: dates
  • Pit the dates.
  • Mix the whey with a little salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper in a bowl.
  • Pull vacuum the dates and steam until they are cooked.
  • Blend in a thermo blender until smooth.
Finishing & presentation
  • Pluck the radicchio into coarse pieces.
  • Quickly steam in hot pan with a little olive oil, water, salt and pepper.
  • Arrange the plate with all the components.

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