Where do I even begin to explain the deep, complex, passionate platonic-love story between us and our dear friend SoKnow?
We first met So during the late 90s, when the world was quickly falling crazy in love with Beyoncé and the rest of the destiny’s children. SoKnow, filled with so much creative talent and energy, needed a way to burn through her untapped potential and joined the Upper Whitney Houston chapter of our Extreme Fight Club.
SoKnow excelled from a young age (picture a kind, likeable version of Ronda Rousey) and rose through to ranks where we met her at our EFC Centre in East Hollywood – did I mention we turned it into a religion/cult like Scientology?
Our bond with Solange was instantaneous and continued over the decades, with So becoming one of our most trusted friends, advisors and confidantes. She was the only person we trusted to keep Jay-Z in line after breaking the first rule of fight club, to not talk about fight club.
Obviously as founders, we are exempt from such rules. Jay-Z is not above the rules.
It was so great catching up with SoKnow after such a busy year – we hadn’t realised that our hard work had led us to our 100th recipe milestone, but you better believe she did.
Knowing our penchant for wanky gifts, she looked through Chloe Sevigny’s list of must haves (I mean, who doesn’t want to never speak to Jeanne Tripplehorn again) and arrived with a vintage half-kaftan by Vivienne Westwood Gold Label, an ironic art smock by Balenciaga le dix, imitation pants by Cacharel and stand-up comedy classes.
The only way we could repay her support, kindness and generosity was a meal of our famous Duck à la Solange.
The 80s have had a strong impact on our lives, none more so than the delicacies of a kitsch kitchen. While I have always had a soft spot for the idea of Duck à l’orange, I hate orange in cooking. Enter, the sublimeness of SoKnow – crispy skin duck with Grand Marnier and sour cherry glaze to dial back the overpowering orange flavour, leaving you with a gloriously rich, tangy citrus to cut through the duck.
Oh, and thank you for reading – you’re the best and you’re beautiful, but not as good or as beautiful as us. Obviously.
Duck à la Solange
2 duck breasts
1 tsp salt
1 sprig rosemary, finely chopped
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup pitted cherries
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
30ml Grand Marnier
½ cup chicken stock
1 tsp cornflour
Score the skin of each duck breast with diagonal lines, cutting into the fat but not into the flesh and rub with the salt and chopped rosemary.
On a medium hot pan, seal the skin side of the duck breasts for about 10 minutes, skimming the fat if it gets too excessive. Once the skin has crisped, turn the breast over and seal on the other side. Cook the breasts for a total of about 20 minutes, turning for a few minutes to seal the remaining sides. Remove from the pan and leave to rest in a warm place for about 15 minutes.
Add the butter to the dark fat and cook to a nut brown before adding the cherries and a good whack of pepper. Deglaze the pan with the Grand Marnier and then add the stock and cornflour, increasing the temperature until the sauce has reduced down to a syrupy glaze.
Serve the duck on crispy fried potatoes or fried broccolini, doused in the cherry-citrus glaze.