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CHEF'S SECRETS

Checkers' Hash: Hold the Beef

December 20, 1990|ROSE DOSTI | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Duck hash, a takeoff on corned-beef hash, has become the most popular item on the breakfast/brunch menu at Checkers Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. It was developed by chef Jerry Comfort, who opened the Checkers kitchen, but recently moved on.

"We've changed nothing," says acting chef Richard Allen. Instead of beef, duck is used, and artichokes are substituted for the potatoes. The result is a festive dish to put before any holiday brunch guest.

Start the hash the night before. If you have leftover holiday bird, all the better. Saute the cooked meat with the artichoke mixture and top with poached eggs and Orange Hollandaise. A rose Champagne is a fitting accompaniment.

CHECKERS' DUCK HASH

2 duck legs and thighs

1/4 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup chopped celery

1/4 cup chopped carrot

1 sprig thyme

3 black peppercorns

2 cups chicken or duck stock or water to cover

1 bay leaf

6 small Italian artichokes or 1 (14-ounce) can quartered artichoke hearts, sliced into small wedges

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 sweet red pepper, cut in fine julienne

1/2 green pepper, cut in fine julienne

1 onion, finely sliced

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 sprigs rosemary leaves, finely chopped

Salt, pepper

4 or 8 poached eggs

Orange Hollandaise

Italian parsley sprigs

Segments from 1 orange

Toasted bread slices

Place duck legs in baking pan with chopped onion, celery, carrot, thyme, peppercorns, chicken stock and bay leaf. Braise at 350 degrees until tender, turning often, about 1 hour. Cool. Skin and shred duck flesh. Drain and reserve duck fat. Cover pan and set aside.

Trim artichokes, leaving 1/4-inch stem. Cut 1/2-inch from top. Cook, covered, in boiling salted water until tender. Drain, cool and discard outer leaves. Quarter or halve artichokes, depending on size; remove choke. Toss artichokes in olive oil and set aside. If using canned artichokes, do not add oil.

Heat about 2 tablespoons reserved duck fat in skillet over medium-low heat. Add red and green peppers and sliced onion and saute until tender. Add garlic and rosemary. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Heat through.

Mix shredded duck and pepper mixture in large bowl. Add enough duck stock to hash to keep moist. Refrigerate (this can be done day before).

Before serving, heat about 2 more tablespoons duck fat in skillet. Add duck hash and saute over medium-high heat until crispy and brown. Add artichokes and heat through.

Spoon hash on each plate and top with 1 or 2 poached eggs for each serving. Ladle Orange Hollandaise over eggs. Garnish each plate with parsley and 3 orange segments. Serve with toast. Makes 4 servings.

Note: If there aren't enough duck drippings from baking pan, render some extra duck skin from other duck parts on top of the stove.

Orange Hollandaise

1 cup white wine reduced to syrupy consistency

Juice and grated zest of 1 orange

Grated zest of 1/2 lemon

3 drops lemon juice

2 egg yolks

3/4 cup cold butter

Salt, pepper

In bowl over warm water, whip reduced wine, orange zest and juice, lemon zest and lemon juice and yolks until very thick. Keeping bowl over heat, add cold whole butter to mixture until desired consistency has been achieved. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

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