I’m pretty sure you’re already familiar with Peking duck, the famous roast duck from Beijing that has been prepared since the imperial era. The meat, or rather the crispy skin is served with steamed pancakes, scallions and plum sauce. The diners spread sauce over the pancake and it’s wrapped around the crispy skin with scallions and cucumbers and eaten by hand. And boy, it’s amazing.
Well, you can call this a Frenchman version of Peking duck with a little detour by the Mediterranean, Gascony, and back to China. It won’t earn you frequent-flyer miles though. A mix-match of flavors reminiscent of Peking duck but with a definite French flair to it because of the Mediterranean chickpea pancake (socca) and the duck confit, the plum sauce stays the same. I don’t mess with plum sauce, ever. I think i even added a few strips of lemon confit in there because i’m fun like that.
The socca (nothing to do with soccer) is a star of its own here, a specialty of Nice it’s considered to be a chickpea ‘crepe’ although the street version is rough around the edges and delicious that way, this version makes a wonderful wrapper.
Needless to say, use copious amounts of the crispy duck confit skin in there to mimic the one of Peking duck. Easy. Fun. Delicious.
Socca with Duck Confit, Peppery Greens & Plum Sauce (aka Peking Duck Redux)
- Makes a bunch
Socca batter recipe:
- 1 cup chickpea flour
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 egg
- 1 cup warm water
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for cooking
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 or 3 duck leg confit, well-browned and crisp
- radicchio (optional)
- lemon confit (optional)
- Chinese plum sauce
For the garnish:
For the socca batter:
- Sift the chickpea flour and all-purpose flours together, add salt and pepper. Make a well in the center and drop the egg. Whisk it into the flour mixture then add the water slowly and then the heavy cream until you obtain a smooth batter. Whisk in the olive oil and reserve until ready to use.
- Heat an 8-inch non-stick pan over medium high heat and drizzle a little olive oil. Pour enough batter to coat the bottom of the pan and swirl it around like if you were making crepes. Cook the socca until it starts to brown on the bottom, flip it and cook it for another minute or so. Repeat and stack them up.
For the garnish:
- Spread some plum sauce over the chickpea pancakes, garnish with some watercress and scallions. Add chunks of duck confit (meat and crispy skin), roll and eat.