Upstart Pastry Chef ~Territory Management of a Genius Pâtisserie~ - Volume 3 - Chapter 14
Chapter 14: Jade Roasted Duck
The drum container that the servants carried all of a sudden, inside that is precisely the main dish of this full course. And this time, Tina comes forward along with the drum. I need to borrow her power to make the final touch.
“Completing right in front of our eyes, is it? There should be a meaning to it.”
Duke Härtling looks at the drum container with deep interest.
It’s against my principle to do anything meaningless. I want to have them enjoy the dish to the utmost.
It’s obvious that the flavor is the most important element of a dish, but there are also other crucial components, such as the presentation, the aroma, and then, the staging.
Any of those will result in elevating the enjoyment of the original taste of the dish. And of course, the opposite also applies. That’s why, for the meat as the main dish of the full course, I want to let all those elements shine to the utmost.
I take out the roasted ducks from the drum container, pierced with an iron skewer. The browning of each roasted duck arouses appetite. I used the drum container to let the heat spread evenly.
“So the main dish is just a whole roasted animal? Such a kill joy.”
The good looking Duke Eichhorn of the south from the noble faction jeers; it’s odd enough that he never misses a chance to disparage my dishes.
“Eichhorn, be quiet for us. Think about all the dishes that had been served before, you should be able to understand that it’s impossible that this chef is going to present us a simple whole roasted fowl, isn’t it?”
The elderly Duke Ortlöpp of the north rebuked Duke Eichhorn. He’s right. This isn’t just a whole roasted duck. I’ve plucked out the innards and stuffed the stomach to a bulge before sewing it closed.
I put up the iron skewered duck on top of a deep dish. And then, I cut off the seam with a carving knife.
When I do so….. vibrant jade color liquid flows out of the duck into the deep dish. It emits intense amount of steam.
“Oou, what a fragrant aroma.”
“What an aromatic juiciness. Moreover, it’s a very calming aroma.”
The second aroma explosion. The aroma of meat juice from the duck and gentle, sweet fragrance that embodies the forest mingle together and waft in the air. I’ve prepared this final touch in order to let the guests experience this aroma.
I cut the duck meat into slices and put them onto the plates, and pour the jade-colored liquid seeping out of the duck’s belly, borrowing Tina’s power to boil it to down.
I add some wine and seasonings, reduce it to make a sauce, then pour plenty of it on the duck. Now, it’s finally completed.
“This is the main dish of today. It’s called Jade Roasted Duck. Please, enjoy to your hearts’ content.”
As soon as the dish is served on the table, there are only impatient hands all over them. It’s only natural. The previously presented dishes have increased their appetites, and this aroma made them submit to it. They must be at their limits already.
“This. What a rich flavor. The dry duck meat entwines with the sauce. What is the true form of this jade sauce?”
“It’s too delicious. It’s both gentle and flavorful, I never tasted anything like this before.”
“Hm, the meat dish is also of the finest quality. Lately, I didn’t have much appetite, which was probably due to my age….. When was the last time I finished everything on my plate like this? If it’s a full course like this, I wish I can eat it everyday, hm.”
“Yes, I’m very satisfied with this meal. …..But I wish I can eat a little more.”
The last dish to be served, Jade Roasted Duck. The cooking technique was simple. Basically, it was just attentively heating the ducks in the drum container. However, I prepared a special condiment. The ingredient was natively grown in my hometown, the mountain of Arnold, pistachios.
I crushed the pistachios along with walnuts, combined them with cheese, and let the condiments go through lactic acid fermentation.
Pistachio, which contains the first class special umami even among nuts, mixed well with cheese. Those flavors accumulated and turned even more compact, while the fermentation made the flavor milder and yet deeper.
I put plenty of the condiments into the duck’s belly after emptying out their innards , then roasted the ducks in the drum container.
When I did, the pistachio condiments inside the belly permeated into the meat, and likewise, the meat juice and duck fat also seeped into the sauce, making it a sauce with umami aplenty inside those bellies.
That condiment came out when I cut open the duck’s seam. Using that as the sauce enabled me to serve the best dish. In this full course, it’s the only dish with extra fattiness. That’s why it tastes all the more delicious.
And then, I’ve calculated that this dish is stopping short of bringing them to complete satisfaction. They are in the stage of being so close to fulfillment, and that is the best condition for their stomachs to eat the dessert.
“Phew, I feel sated. The dessert will round it all up, right? It was a great full course.”
“Bringing us to this state, I can’t find any fault at all…… Renalier is blessed with a great chef. It’s the first time I finished a full course meal while feeling this pleasant. Before, when finishing the main dish, my stomach had only suffered. I always thought that it was a given, but this, this has opened my eyes. This is truly what it means to enjoy a full course meal.”
The full course is completely over. There’s only a bonus left, the dessert. The room is filled with that kind of atmosphere.
That is a big misunderstanding, because the real show is only about to begin.
“Honored guests, with this, the true main dish will be prepared from here onwards.”
The Four Great Dukes show startled looks when they hear me….. then their expressions turn into great anticipation.
“I thought only the dessert remains after this.”
“Yes, the full course meal throughout the previous servings were all prepared to ensure honored guests’ condition to fully enjoy the dessert. The reason for that, is the dessert, which is my most prided dish, the best menu of this full course.”
I respond passionately.
That is my identity. The dishes before are no more than the tools to fully showcase my identity. I devised today’s dishes, which were essential to let the guests enjoy 100% of the decadent chocolate cake. The dishes before only had reserved amounts of fat content. I also conditioned their stomachs with the knowledge of medicinal cooking, which provided the vitamins that they severely lacked from the luxurious meals that they usually consume. Today’s full course dishes could be called edible medicines as well.
Looking at my figure brimming with confidence and passion, Duchess Renalier giggles to herself, then speaks.
“Let me say that the person responsible for today’s full course dishes, Kurt Arnold, the heir of the Baronetcy of Arnold, is actually not a chef. I made an impossible cooking request to him.”
Those words shock the other members of Four Great Dukes more than before, as they look at me even more closely.
“Duchess Renalier, saying that someone with the ability to present dishes to this extent isn’t a chef….. then pray tell, what is he? What is his real occupation?”
“His true occupation is a pastry chefp â t i s s i e r. The dessert that will be served to us next will finally show his true worth.”
I can hear someone’s gulping sound. The preparations are all good. In that case, the only thing remaining is to show them my full power.
“Then, to bring us all towards the finish line, I will bring out the best dish. What I will present to you today, is the apex of chocolate cakes, Sachertorte. I improved the dish into what I shall call as the Imperial Torte.”
Since they never heard the word chocolate before, the anticipation of the unknown seeps into the Four Great Dukes’ eyes. The imperial word in the name holds the meaning of the imperial stage. In other words, it’s a pastry worthy of the emperor.
If there’s any falsehood in that title, I will be punished for treason, let alone making the worst impression. However, my cake definitely deserves that title. It holds the knowledge of my past life and the most wonderful ingredients that I’ve encountered until today. Using those two, it’s a cake that no one else can make besides me.
Now, let’s satisfy their curiosity to their hearts’ content, shall we?
- That drum container is a product of Golden Hood
- Roasted Duck with Green Sauce recipe (in Japanese) by Livedoor Blog
- Open drum below is a product in Alibaba
- Duck Pistachio Crust photo by Center of the Plate, similar recipe here
- Duck Terrine with Pistachio and Cherry Sauce from Recipe Cooking
- Halibut with Pistachio Pesto photo by Alaska from Scratch
- Cantonese Roasted Duck recipe from Epicurus