Plans for Friendsgiving 2020

~ This is Day 258 ~

Thanksgiving Thursday has officially passed for 2020 but my Friendsgiving has not yet! This year, unfortunately, I couldn’t have it on Thursday because of scheduling issues. Not having it on Thanksgiving Thursday seems so weird to me and it’s happening tomorrow, the Sunday of Thanksgiving. I only just realized that I haven’t posted the menu yet. There was a sixth course but my seafood delivery was out of fresh sea urchin from Maine so I axed that dish.

Diver Scallop
Pickled Golden Beets • Apple Sorrel Gel
Micro Red Vein Sorrel
(1st course)

Duck Leg Confit
Celeriac • Hazelnuts
Montegrato Pedro Ximénez
(2nd course)

Quail
Chanterelles • Shiitake • Market Carrots
Pearl Onions • Barley Risotto
(3rd course)

Dry Aged Duck Breast
Pommes Dauphinoise • Caramelized Endive
Red Wine Jus
(4th course)

Grapefruit Sorbet
Kabocha • Contratto • Candied Pepitas
(5th course)

As much as I can’t wait for tomorrow to come, this “Thanksgiving” is dragging and I just want it over with already. Never doing this a Sunday again… keeping it to Thursday next year and all future years.

I know we’re all still in a pandemic and that a lot of people have been alone this holiday weekend but my friends coming are all the same friends that I’ve been seeing since the lockdown and we’ve all been careful, getting tested regularly, and also practicing safe social guidelines.

Chicken Croquetas with Hot Paprika Aïoli

My first chef made these when I first started at Degustation and when my current chef went on vacation for two weeks, I decided to bring these Chicken Croquetas back, served with a Hot Paprika Aïoli.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, puréed or ground chicken or putty?? That whitish grey goop you see when you watch those behind the scene videos at meat factories… WELL, these are not like that. I boil the chicken and hand shred the meat and fold that into the béchamel.

Inside the béchamel, there is also celery, jalapeño, and red onion brunoise.

Duck Leg Confit with Red Mole

This was a Duck Leg Confit with Red Mole and Fresh Salad in a Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette.

I managed to get my hands on this red mole recipe. It is absolutely amazing – spicy from the ancho peppers and velvety smooth from the chocolate. We should seriously jar this mole up and sell it!

5 Spice Duck Leg Confit & Egg

As a kid, I always loved eating salt cured duck eggs with my morning congee. However, I would only eat the yolk. The whites were always too salty. And I would look for the yolks in sticky rice and in mooncakes.

But I’ve never cooked with them, raw, or uncured. I had an interesting couple of days figuring out how to sous vide them properly and perfectly.

This is a Sous Vide Duck Egg with 5 Spice Duck Leg Confit, Spring Onion Purée, Julienned Cucumbers, Spring Roll Paper Crackers, and a 5 Spice Jus.

Squab with Corn & Bacon

Squab usually means young domesticated pigeon. The meat is dark red and it tastes gamey, which is why chefs like it.

The Squab was seared on the plancha then roasted in the oven, served with a Sweet Corn Purée, Bacon Fat Popcorn, Red Onion Petals, Bacon Crumbs, Anise Jus, and Micro Celery.

Crusted Duck Breast & Brussels Sprouts

Sometimes at work, the proprietor likes to give me a few ingredients and freestyle. I like to call these instances, Chopped! Degu-Version. Of course I don’t get “Chopped” but the concept of the show is parallel.

Here we have Duck Breast that has been crusted in crispy quinoa and shallots, served with fried Brussels Sprouts, Shiitake Mushrooms, and Candied Ginger.

Roasted Duck & Potato Dauphinoise

I created this dish at the beginning of April, when it was still pretty much winter in NYC. The farmer’s market was still pretty lame with root vegetables galore. Don’t get me wrong, I love root vegetables but winters seem to last forever and there’s only so much you can do with veggies that grow in the ground.

Along with the Roasted Duck Breast, there is a piece of Braised Chicory and a slice of Potato Dauphinoise, with a velvety Red Wine Jus!