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Pistachio & Chervil Crusted Duck Breast, with Velvet Cloud Sheep’s Milk Foam

Updated: May 20, 2020

Chef: Daniel Lambert

Position: Chef de Partie, Harvey’s Point Hotel, Co. Donegal, Ireland

Instagram: @daniellambert95

How did you get started?

I am originally from Dublin and my family moved to Co. Leitrim Ireland in 2010. From there, I left the city life behind and started learning how to fish. When I became hooked on fishing, my love for food grew. I mastered different techniques of all kinds of sport before starting to fillet and cook the fish I caught. I decided to study software engineering in college, but I realised after a few years that this wasn’t my passion. I missed being in the kitchen. So I went on to study Culinary Arts in LYIT Killybegs.

What was your first position?

After culinary college, I started as a dishwasher in a local Spanish restaurant in my home town of Leitrim, Ireland. I was able to quickly move up the ranks and began taking control of the kitchen.


The story behind the dish:

This dish tells the story of me moving from Dublin City (modern) to countryside Donegal (classical).

Pistachio & Chervil Crusted Duck Breast, with Velvet Cloud Sheep’s Milk Foam

What you need:

  • Cast iron pan

  • Flat tray

  • 2 large pots

  • Food processor

  • Fine Sieve

  • Espuma gun or a cream gas gun with 2 gas chargers

Ingredients for duck breasts (serves 4):

  • 2 large duck breasts

  • 25g butter

  • 2 sprigs thyme

  • Salt

  • Black pepper

  • Pistachio & chervil crust

  • 50g pistachios

  • 50g toasted white breadcrumbs

  • 5g fresh chervil

  • salt

Ingredients for fennel puree:

  • 2 large fennel bulbs (120g)

  • 50g real butter

  • 5ml vegetable oil

  • 500ml cream

  • 100g spinach

  • 25ml pastis liqueur

  • 1 tsp fennel seeds

  • Pickled Radishes

  • 1 red cherry belle radish

  • 50ml white wine vinegar

  • 50ml white wine

  • 50ml filtered water

  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns

  • 1 star anise

  • Velvet Cloud Sheep’s Milk Foam

  • 1 shallot (8g)

  • 1 clove of garlic (1g)

  • 5ml vegetable oil

  • 450ml velvet cloud sheep’s milk

  • Garnish

  • Micro chervil

  • 1 green cabbage leaf

Directions for duck breast:

  • Score the duck breasts (skin side) and trim of any excess fat - it should look like a cross.

  • Season the duck breasts with the salt and black pepper.

  • Place the breasts in a cold cast iron pan, start to render down the fat on a low heat, 10 – 12 min approx., until the fat is rendered down completely.

  • Keep straining the duck fat off the pan until the desired texture of the duck breast skin is achieved, then flip the breasts and add in the butter & thyme. Wait until the butter starts to foam and start to baste the breast.

  • Put the breast on a flat tray covering the skin with the pistachio & chervil crust.

  • Cook the duck breasts in a preheated oven for 5 mins at 180 degrees Celsius, then let them rest for 10 mins before slicing in half vertically.

Directions for pistachio & chervil crust:

  • Blitz all ingredients together in a food processor for 2 mins until a sandy texture is achieved & season with salt.

Directions for fennel puree:

  • Start by heating up a large pot on high heat with butter - add in your oil first to stop the butter from burning too fast.

  • Finely chop the fennel and add to the pot with your toasted fennel seeds & pastis liqueur, add a flame to this mix and burn off the excess alcohol.

  • When the fennel has softened, turn the heat down to simmer and pour in your cream, cook for a further 15 mins.

  • When the fennel starts to break down, add in the spinach & cook for 1 minute.

  • Transfer the mix to a food processor and pass the puree.

  • Set aside for later.

Directions for pickled radishes:

  • Bring all ingredients to a boil and set aside to cool.

  • Thinly slice the radish (vegetable slicer recommended).

  • When the pickle is cool, add in the sliced radishes and leave for 2 hours to infuse.

Directions for velvet cloud sheep’s milk foam:

  • Finely dice the shallot & garlic.

  • Sweat off in a pot until soft.

  • Fold the mix into the sheep’s milk & strain through a fine sieve.

  • Pour the mix into an espuma gun or a cream gas gun with 2 gas chargers.

  • Set aside for later.

Directions for garnish:

  • Deep fry 1 cabbage crisp at 180 degrees celsius for 1 min.

  • Pick some fresh micro chervil and keep on a damp tissue.


  • Cut the duck breasts vertically and place the plate.

  • Place a tablespoon of the fennel puree on the plate and swipe around the duck breast.

  • Use the espuma gun to release the aerated mixture of the sheep’s milk onto the plate beside the fennel puree.

  • Decorate with crispy cabbage leaf, micro chervil and the pickled radishes.

  • Serve immediately.

  • Cast iron pan

  • Flat tray

  • 2 large pots

  • Food processor

  • Fine Sieve

  • Espuma gun or a cream gas gun with 2 gas chargers

Some of the best times in my life so far happened when I was cooking.

Please comment, like, or share! Let's hear your story!

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