Recipes by Chef James Jessen, Bistro di Bufala | Photos by Frank Miramontes, DMI Agency

If you once thought that oranges were only for juicing, think again. This month, Bistro di Bufala’s owner and head chef, James Jessen, and his crew (Chef Joy Cho, Pastry Chef Lisa Bacc, and mixologist Jacob Mejia) are sure to knock your citrus season socks off. Dinner invitation, anyone? We’ll be right over.


Serves 4


  • 4 boneless skin-on duck breasts
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons clarified butter


With a sharp knife, gently score duck breast skin in a tight crosshatch pattern, keeping the scores 1/4 inch apart. Season duck breasts with salt, heavily on the skin side and lightly on the flesh side.

Place duck breasts, skin-side down, in a cold nonstick sauté pan. Place pan over low to medium-low heat. Add clarified butter. To keep the edges from curling up, press duck breasts down with a weight (I used a small flat cast-iron lid).

After about 5 minutes, the fats should begin to gently bubble. Maintain the gentle bubble of fat, baste the breast once, then remove the excess rendered fat and butter. Throughout the cooking process, the fat will keep rendering; keep spooning out, leaving the pan relatively dry. Continue cooking until the skin is golden brown.

Total cooking time will be about 12-15 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Increase heat and further brown skin if needed, about 1 minute, before flipping and cooking on the flesh side. Medium rare will be at 130F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove duck from pan and set aside to rest.


  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 3/4 cup Grand Marnier, orange liqueur
  • 5 blood oranges, exhausted
  • 1 1/4 cup of mild chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum


In a small sauce pan, combine sugar, vinegar and shallots, and cook over medium heat until reduced and syrupy.

Add Grand Marnier liqueur and continue cooking and reducing for 3 additional minutes.

Whisk the thickener into the blood orange juice and chicken stock, add to the pot and reduce the heat, simmer until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper, strain and keep warm.      


  • 3 to 4 pieces of citrus using different varieties (I used Daisy mandarin, oro blanco grapefruit and Chandler red pummelo)
  • 2 tablespoons minced cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons Julie and sweet red onion
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flake


Prepare citrus using supremes only. Cut into bite-size pieces.

Combine all other ingredients; adjust taste to your liking. (If you want it to be stronger on the citrus side, you can add zest from the fruit, or make it spicier or milder on the chili side.)


Serves 4


  • 8 cups baby arugula
  • 1 small head of radicchio
  • 2 small heads of Belgium endive
  • 1 bulb of fennel, shaved on a mandolin or thinly sliced
  • Small goat cheese log rolled in 1/4 cup finely chopped roasted pistachios


Wash and dry all the greens and gently toss with shaved fennel, arrange on plates, garnish with goat cheese wheels and drizzle generously with vinaigrette.



  • 3 1/2 pounds butternut squash, trimmed
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced          
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 large yellow onion, building chopped
  • 1 large jalapeño, minced
  • 1 pasilla chili, minced
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup bergamot sour orange crème fraîche
  • 2 cara cara oranges; zest one and juice both
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Quarter the butternut squashes, remove seeds (and reserve); arrange cut squash on a baking sheet pan, season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with EVOO. Roast until lightly browned, approximately 45 minutes. Scrape cooked flesh away from skin and set aside; discard skin.

Wash butternut squash seeds and soak in warm water for 30 minutes. Drain, dry and toss in olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Toast until golden brown in oven. Set aside for garnish.           

In a medium-sized stock pot, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, add garlic, onion and chili, and cook until softened but not browned.

Add vegetable stock, raw carrot and bring to a boil, then add cooked squash and simmer for 40 minutes.

Purée soup with an immersion blender until very smooth. Add juice, zest and 3/4 of the crème fraîche. Serve in soup bowls and garnish with the remaining 1/4 cup crème fraîche, toasted seeds and Parmigiano-Reggiano.



  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup chilled unsalted butter, diced small
  • 1/4 cup chilled shortening, in pea-sized pieces
  • 3 tablespoons ice cold water


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Using a pastry knife or pastry cutter, incorporate butter into flour mixture until butter is in quarter-sized pieces. Add shortening, coat with the flour mixture and incorporate until the mixture forms pea-sized pieces (some big chunks are okay).

Drizzle half of the ice water into the flour mixture to begin to form the dough. Continue to add the water 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing in until the dough comes together but is not wet when pressed. (Try not to overwork the dough or it will become tough.)

Once the dough is ready, roll out and place in your favorite deep-dish pie pan. Dock the dough lightly by piercing the bottom and sides with a fork.

Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Take the pan out of the freezer and line the dough with a piece of parchment or foil 2 inches larger than the pan. Fill with pie weights, beans or rice. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and, using edges of the parchment or foil, carefully lift the pie weights from the pan.

Put the pan back in the oven and reduce the temperature to 325 degrees, bake for 10 minutes more, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.


  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoon lemon zest
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 pre-baked pie crust (9- to 10-inch-deep dish pie crust)


  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup sugar


Whisk 2/3 cup sugar and the cornstarch together in a medium saucepan. Add the milk and whisk until smooth.

Add the egg yolks, zest and salt, and cook, stirring constantly over medium heat until thickened enough to coat the back of the spoon. 

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and butter. Pour through a sieve and into a bowl.

Cover the filling with a piece of plastic wrap, touching the filling to prevent a skin from forming. Place in refrigerator and cool completely. 

Pour heavy whipping cream and 1/3 cup of sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer. Whip at medium to high speed until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

Take dish with pre-baked pie shell in it and pour in chilled lemon filling. Top with homemade whipped cream. Chill until served.



  • 3/4 ounce rosemary simple syrup
  • 2 ounces of your favorite gin
  • 1 ounce fresh lemon juice


Place in shaker with ice; vigorously shake. Strain into collins glass and top with a splash of club soda. Garnish with citrus peel.