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From Beak-to-Feet, Part I

จากจะงอยปากเป็ดถึงเท้าเป็ด

Time seems to pass by so quickly. I have not been forgetting about my blog, but like all of us, I have been kept busy setting priorities, fulfilling obligations, and working at finding balance in my life. With the bit of time I have this week, I would like to share some recipes with you in this post and my next one from the farm cooking I did last month. The recipes revolve around ducks and sustainable cooking. Making use of the whole animal—from beak to feet—is a practice that my grandma followed, like many cooks around the world.  I hope some of the recipes will be easy for you to try, or that you will learn from just by reading them. Please let me know if you have any experiences to share about cooking with duck.

It is not difficult to handle the whole duck. When I have a whole duck to cook some typical recipes that I might prepare include braised duck leg and wing, pan-seared duck breast with five-spice powder, and rendered duck fat. Then I would put any remaining parts of the duck in a pot to make a duck broth.

Thai Duck Curry with Local Fruit Side Dish

The picture above, taken by one of the farm dinner guests, shows seared five-spice duck on top of steamed rice, plus duck broth with braised duck red curry with nectarines and plums. I will be sharing three of my duck recipes with you. Today’s recipe is for seared five-spice duck. Recipes for steamed rice with duck broth, and for the duck broth itself will come in Part 2. Enjoy these stories and recipes from beak-to-feet.

Seared Five-Spice Duck

Ped Palo Todhaeng

เป็ดผงพะโล้ทอดแห้ง

Thais love to eat duck, but when we prepare recipes using duck we always start with duck prepared in a Chinese style of cooking such as “Roasted Five Spice Duck.” We would purchase it from a Chinese restaurant and take it home to enjoy either with hot steamed jasmine rice or incorporated into duck noodle soup, duck red curry, or duck salad. I enjoy the following duck recipe with all of these dishes. Traditionally, Chinese restaurants roast the duck whole, but to make it easy for the home cook this recipe first pan-sears the duck and then roasts it in the oven.

Serves: 2 to 4

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

2 duck breasts, scored
1 teaspoon five-spice powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ cup Thai light soy sauce or wheat-free tamari soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar or 1 tablespoon Chinese Rice wine such as Shao Hsing Hua Tiao
1 tablespoon canola oil

Pre-heat oven to 350° F

To score duck breasts, slice though the duck skin and fat with a sharp knife until you just reach the meat. Make rows by slicing diagonally across the breast from top to the bottom at a 45-degree angle. Continue the rows ½ inch apart all the way across the breast, then repeat the process by slicing similar rows perpendicular to the first ones.

Rub the five spice powder on the duck breasts and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix sugar with soy sauce and rice vinegar in a small bowl. Pour over duck breasts and marinate for 15 minutes, or up to a day in the refrigerator.

Heat cooking oil in a frying pan on medium high heat. Place duck in pan skin side down and sear until the skin is brown, about 3 minutes; repeat on the other side until it is brown. Place in the oven and let it cook to medium rare, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes. Slice and serve.

 
I Love Thai cooking
Pranee teaches Thai Cooking classes in the Seattle area.
Her website is: I Love Thai cooking.com 
 
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