Thursday night, Jeremy Ford took home the title of Top Chef season 13 after a fierce final battle against runner-up Amar Santana. For his winning dish, Ford created a scrumptious duck breast with roasted maitake mushrooms, smoked chili, buttermilk, and lemon. Describing his thought process for the meal, Ford tells InStyle, “I kept thinking, ‘How do I take the proteins and showcase them in the best possible way?’ I wanted to make sure I was technique-focused, so I did very simple things but made sure they were very technically sound.”
Naturally, that didn’t come without its challenges. “The most challenging part for me about the duck breast was not just cooking the meat perfectly, but making sure that all the condiments and sauces that I made to highlight the duck were perfectly sound and the perfect temperature,” Ford says.
Feeling inspired? You can actually make an adaption of the dish in your own kitchen. Top Chef partnered with Blue Apron, the company that delivers recipes and perfectly proportioned ingredients to your door, to bring a variation of Ford’s first-place dish to home cooks everywhere. Sign up for this special-edition Blue Apron delivery, or try the recipe below.
Roasted Chicken and Mixed Mushrooms
2 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
6 oz mixed mushrooms (this recipe calls for maitake and cremini)
1 bunch collard greens
1 navel orange
1 bunch rosemary
2 tbsp crème fraîche
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
1. To prepare the ingredients: Preheat the oven to 475°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Pick the rosemary off the stems; discard the stems. Tear the maitake mushrooms into bite-sized pieces. Quarter the cremini mushrooms. Remove and discard the collard green stems; thinly slice. Using a peeler, remove the orange rind, avoiding the white pith; mince
the rind to get 2 tsp of zest (or use a zester). Remove and discard the pith; small dice the orange, discarding any seeds. Finely chop the chipotle pepper; thoroughly wash your hands afterwards.
2. To fry the rosemary: In a large pan, heat a thin layer of oil on medium until hot. Add the rosemary and cook, stirring occasionally, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until crispy and fragrant. Turn off the heat. Carefully transfer the fried rosemary to a paper towel-lined plate, leaving the oil in the pan.
3. To cook the chicken and mushrooms: Pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat the pan of reserved oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken, skin sides down; cook 6 to 8 minutes on the first side, or until browned. Transfer, skin sides up, to a sheet pan, leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan on the stove. Place the mushrooms on the sheet pan; drizzle with olive oil. Roast 22 to 24 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the mushrooms are browned and crispy. Remove from the oven.
4. To cook the collard greens: Once the chicken and mushrooms have roasted for about 15 minutes, carefully discard the excess oil from the pan of reserved fond; heat on medium-high until hot. Add the collard greens, orange zest, half the orange and 1/4 cup of water; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until the collard greens have wilted and the water has cooked off. Transfer to a bowl and set aside in a warm place, leaving any remaining fond in the pan.
5. To make the pan sauce: While the chicken and mushrooms continue to roast, to the pan of reserved fond, add the vinegar, half the crème fraîche, 1/4 cup of water and as much of the chipotle pepper as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be; season with salt and pepper. Cook on medium-high, stirring frequently and scraping up any fond, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly reduced in volume. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.