Showing posts with label duck. Show all posts
Showing posts with label duck. Show all posts

Monday, July 27, 2015

Idea Obsessions - Peanut Butter and Jelly Duck Bao

Idea Obsessions - Peanut Butter and Jelly Duck Bao
Idea Obsessions - Peanut Butter and Jelly Duck Bao

Sometimes I get hit by a random food idea that I simply can’t shake. Peanut Butter and Jelly Duck Bao was one of those. In my head, I could taste the combination. Beautiful fatty duck slices, sticky sweet jam, a spicy peanut sauce rounding it out. I wanted it so bad! Cooking complicated meals during the week is a bonus of being made redundant. Ordinarily, it’d be months before I had a spare weekend to cook something like this, but now I can (almost) any time! So on a Friday without plans, I decided to make dinner and the couch Date Night, by making something a little fancier than the norm. Right from the get-go you should know that this is a very involved meal, if you want to do things right and get the full richness of flavours in your jelly and the best fluffiness in homemade steam buns. Good things sometimes really do take time. It is worth it, I promise you that. BUT…if you are time poor, but still love the idea of these PB&J Duck Bao, I won’t complain too much if you simplify things..

So, onto my complicated, enhanced version. I always use the Momofuku Steam Buns recipe for making bao, but I find I always need at least ½ cup more flour than their recipe. But use their amount first, and add more if the dough is too sticky. In this instance, instead of rendered pork fat, I used rendered duck fat.

Given we aren’t in stone fruit season, I decided to make my plum jam with prunes, instead of fresh plums. Given how classic a combination duck and plums are, I didn’t want to deviate for my jam. I always have prunes in the house because I’m a bit of a nanna and love them on my porridge. Finish it off with a simple spicy peanut butter sauce and you have gold! I was going to make my own pickles to go with these, but time got away from me.

Serve with buns, pickle and parsley and coriander leaves and you have a perfectly balanced but rich PB&J Duck Bao.

Idea Obsessions - Peanut Butter and Jelly Duck Bao
Idea Obsessions - Peanut Butter and Jelly Duck Bao
Idea Obsessions - Peanut Butter and Jelly Duck Bao
Idea Obsessions - Peanut Butter and Jelly Duck Bao
Idea Obsessions - Peanut Butter and Jelly Duck Bao
Idea Obsessions - Peanut Butter and Jelly Duck Bao

Peanut Butter and Jelly Duck Bao

½ duck (if you are making a simpler version, 1 large duck breast, skin on)
1 red onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp salt
2 litres water
1/2tsp freshly cracked black pepper

Prune and Onion Jelly

1 red onion, thinly sliced
½ tsp salt
2 cups red wine (such as Shiraz or Cab Sauv)
200g prunes, roughly chopped
1L duck stock (included in recipe)
½ cup brown sugar

Spicy Peanut Sauce

½ cup peanut butter
½ tbsp. freshly grated ginger
3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp kecap manis
2 tbsp sriracha (or to taste)

Fillet the breast and thigh piece of the duck, keeping the skin intact. Cover and place in the fridge until later. Remove the fat and skin from the rest of the duck. In a frypan over medium heat, fry the excess skin and fat until the fat renders out. Drain from pan and allow to cool to room temperature. Start making the steam buns, if you are. Read the instructions fully, to understand how much rising time you’ll need all up.

Using a big sharp knife, carefully cut the duck bones up at the joints and fry them off in a stock pot until brown. Add 2 litres of water, the onion, bay leaf, garlic cloves, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then simmer for an hour, skimming the foam off the top from time to time. Leave to cool half an hour, then pass through a sieve. You can remove and shred any meat from the duck pieces and reserve for another use – or just discard along with the vegetables and bones.

In a saucepan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over a medium-low heat and cook the onion slices until translucent, around 5 minutes. Add the salt to allow them to sweat, and cook for a further 10 minutes. They should soften even more, but not colour. Add the prunes, duck stock and brown sugar. Bring to the boil, stirring well, then cover and reduce to a simmer, and leave to cook for around an hour and a half, or until reduced by half. Alternatively, skip the stock making step and use good chicken stock - or just use a good store-bought plum jam or plum sauce.

While this cooks, remove the duck from the fridge to take the chill off, and preheat the oven to 150C. Should take about half an hour.

When the oven is ready, heat a frypan to high. Season the duck on both sides with salt and pepper and place skin side down on the heat. Leave to cook for 5-6 minutes, until the skin is crispy and the fat has rendered. Flip over and cook a further 5 minutes. Spoon some prune jelly over the top of the duck breast and place in the oven to finish cooking for 15 minutes. Take the lid off the prune jelly and keep cooking to reduce to a sticky, jamlike consistency.

Meanwhile, start steaming your buns and make the peanut butter sauce. Add all of the spicy peanut butter sauce ingredients to a small saucepan and place over low heat, stir here and there until smooth and all of the ingredients are fully incorporated. Should be about 5 minutes. Take off the heat and set aside.

Remove the duck breast, cover with a piece of foil and rest for 5 minutes. Slice into thin strips and serve with the prune and onion jelly, peanut butter sauce, pickles, herbs and steam buns.

Idea Obsessions - Peanut Butter and Jelly Duck Bao
Idea Obsessions - Peanut Butter and Jelly Duck Bao
Idea Obsessions - Peanut Butter and Jelly Duck Bao

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Using Leftovers - Smokey Duck and Lentil Empanadas

Using Leftovers - Smokey Duck and Lentil Empanadas
Using Leftovers - Smokey Duck and Lentil Empanadas

If you are lucky enough to have some leftover bourbon molasses braised duck, then this is the perfect way of utilising some of that delicious saucy meat. If you do not have any left, never fear – any leftover meat could be shredded to be added to the lentils. Or even some refried beans and a little grated cheese. Or the sweet potato and bacon filling from my bagel bombs. The recipe here is more for the dough than anything. The dough itself is flavoured in such a way that it lends itself to the smokey, BBQy flavours of the duck dish, so I would recommend using a little good quality BBQ sauce to coat the meat and lentils before forming the empanadas. Alternately, make sure you have a good dipping sauce if you have a plainer filling.

I make my pastry doughs in the food processor because it’s so much simpler, but it can be done by hand.

Oh, and my New Year's Resolution last year to eat more cornbread was a huge success. This year, I think it might be to practice making prettier looking empanadas!
Using Leftovers - Smokey Duck and Lentil Empanadas
Using Leftovers - Smokey Duck and Lentil Empanadas

Smokey Empanadas with Duck and Lentils

2 cups plain flour (‘00’ if you have it)
½ cup cold butter, cubed
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ancho chilli powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
¼ cup bourbon
2 eggs
1 tbsp molasses
1 Egg + 1 tbsp cold water for the egg wash

400g tin lentils
Few twists of salt and pepper
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup shredded duck

Remove the duck from the fridge to take the chill off.

Sift the flour, salt, paprika and chilli powder together and put it in the food processor. Add the butter and pulse until it is combined and resembles breadcrumbs. In a bowl, lightly beat the bourbon, eggs and molasses to combine. Add to the flour mixture and pulse until it comes together into a ball. Don’t overwork it.

Remove the dough, flatten it into a disc, wrap it in plastic and pop it in the freezer for 15 minutes to chill.

Take it out of the freezer, divide it into two pieces and roll each piece out into a rectangle about 5mm thick that you then cut into 4. So when both pieces have been rolled and cut, you’ll have 8 rectangles. Place on lined baking trays, cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for 10 minutes while you make the filling.

Rinse the lentils well as they come out of the tin and drain. Place in a bowl, season and add 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar. Stir to combine, then drain the excess vinegar and measure out 1 cup of lentils. Reserve the rest for another use (I added to a salad). Mix the duck meat into the lentils.

Preheat the oven to 175C

Place around 1 ½ tablespoons of filling mixture along half of each piece of dough, leaving a 5mm-1cm rim around the edge. Brush the rim top and bottom with egg wash, fold the top over and crimp together with a fork. Poke a few air holes with the fork tines and brush the whole thing with egg wash.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden.

Serve with greek yoghurt or sour cream
Using Leftovers - Smokey Duck and Lentil Empanadas
Using Leftovers - Smokey Duck and Lentil Empanadas
Using Leftovers - Smokey Duck and Lentil Empanadas
Using Leftovers - Smokey Duck and Lentil Empanadas

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Starting the Year off Right - Bourbon Molasses Braised Duck

Starting the Year off Right - Bourbon Molasses Braised Duck
Starting the Year off Right - Bourbon Molasses Braised Duck

I have mentioned before that Lance has been experimenting a lot with smoking. Meat. He gets some funny looks when he tells people he’s really into smoking. He built a tray holder and bought a rotisserie and turned one of our garden sheds into a smoker. Last time he did a great big smoke, we had around 50 sausages, half a kilo of bacon, 6 chorizo links, a roast pork and a whole chicken. We now have a few piles of various woods drying out, ready for him to experiment with, things like macadamia and plum. As well as the traditional hickory blocks that we buy from the store. As an offshoot from that, he’s started experimenting more with roasting meats on the rotisserie in the BBQ. Or “rotisserating” them, as he likes to say.

This style of cooking is most suited to things with an outer layer of fat, so when it rotates, that layer of fat gets crunchy and delicious, whilst the interior meat is protected and stays gloriously moist. Even if you slightly overcook a roast, it stays moist inside. Lamb and pork legs and whole chickens have all had the rotisserated treatment to great effect. He’ll often throw some hickory and mesquite chips in to add an extra flavour boost. He did a whole baby pig for my sister-in-law's 30th!

This passion and experimentation has led him to the idea of rotisserating a whole beef fillet which is almost entirely devoid of fat, so he wants to encase it in a layer of duck fat and see how that changes the flavour profile and generate moistness in a roast that is notorious for drying out. He figures if duck fat roasted potatoes are the holy grail or roast potatoes, then surely the same will be true for duck fat roasted beef. Which led to a Sunday afternoon of kitchen prep side-by-side. Me making baked bean casserole and banana bread for the week ahead. Him skinning a duck. Yep. He skinned a whole duck. Which meant I needed to find a way to cook a skinless, fatless duck.

Obviously that rules out roasting it. The general consensus of all my cookbooks is that you can cook duck breasts quickly and to medium, and that duck legs you slow cook into confit style dishes and the rest of the duck is pretty useless for anything but stock. There isn’t a great deal of meat on ducks beyond the breasts and legs. My Peruvian cookbook had largely tomato based dishes, which didn’t really jump out at me. A Mexican cookbook had some slightly more inspired spice-based dishes. My Treme cookbook had slow roasted duck with bourbon molasses sauce and sweet potato fries. Bingo! I used the same base flavours, but changed the dish to suit my skinless duck. Opting to section it, brown it, then braise it.

To make life easier, you can get an already segmented duck and either pull the skin off yourself which will be a lot easier than skinning it whole. Or, you can still brown each piece leaving the skin and fat on, but you’ll need to brown it for longer on the skin side, and removed the majority of the fat from the pan before adding the liquids.

This resulting dish is rich and sweet and sticky and moreish just all kinds of perfect. I deep-fried some sage leaves in duck fat for garnish, and instead of making fries, I made a sweet potato mash with orange and cinnamon that complimented the sweetness just so. Although that as a dish by itself makes a fantastic side. I lazily made it in the microwave and it takes less than 10 minutes. Couldn’t be simpler!

And as a side note, molasses can be hard to find, but I really suggest you seek it out. The flavour profile is so much richer than any other sweetener you would try using as a substitute and it really makes the dish. In the end, I found it in a Woolworths, but I had gone to the Nanna Shop, a Coles and an IGA before I found some.

Starting the Year off Right - Bourbon Molasses Braised Duck
Starting the Year off Right - Bourbon Molasses Braised Duck
Starting the Year off Right - Bourbon Molasses Braised Duck
Starting the Year off Right - Bourbon Molasses Braised Duck
Starting the Year off Right - Bourbon Molasses Braised Duck
Starting the Year off Right - Bourbon Molasses Braised Duck

Bourbon Molasses Braised Duck

(adapted from the Treme Cookbook)
1 duck, approx. 2.2 kg, sectioned into about 8 pieces and skinned
2 tbsp reserved duck fat (from skinning the duck)
1 brown onion, sliced into half moons
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 shallots, diced
8 large sage leaves, plus 1 tbsp chopped sage leaves
1 tbsp thyme leaves
2 tsp black pepper
1 cup chicken stock
½ cup molasses, divided in two
½ cup bourbon, divided in two
¾ cup apple cider vinegar (plus a splash)
330mL bottle apple cider
Salt and pepper

Place the duck fat in a large lidded pan (I used my tagine) and bring up to a medium high heat. When the majority of the fat has rendered out, remove the little bits that remain and discard. Carefully drop the whole sage leaves into the hot oil, they will sizzle and crisp up in about 30 seconds. Remove to paper towel and set aside.

Season the duck pieces with salt and pepper and in batches, brown on each side in the duck fat. Around 3-5 minutes per side should do it. Set aside on a plate.

Add the onion to the pan and cook until golden, stirring here and there so it doesn’t catch too much. Around 10 minutes. Add a splash of apple cider vinegar to deglaze the pan if necessary, then add the shallots and garlic cloves. Cook until translucent, around 3 minutes.

Add the sage, thyme, pepper, chicken stock, ¼ cup of molasses, ¼ cup of bourbon, apple cider vinegar and apple cider to the pan. Stir well to combine, then add the duck pieces back into braising liquid. Cover and cook for 30 minutes, turn the duck over, re-cover and cook for a further 20-30 minutes or until the meat is falling off the bone.

When cooked, remove the duck from the pan and add the remaining ¼ cup of molasses and ¼ cup bourbon and leave simmering with the lid off to reduce.

Shred the duck meat from off the bone, discarding the bones.

When the sauce is a thick, syrupy consistency, check for seasoning, then stir the duck back through the sauce.

Serve with Orange Cinnamon Sweet Potato Smash and crispy fried sage leaves

Starting the Year off Right - Bourbon Molasses Braised Duck
Starting the Year off Right - Bourbon Molasses Braised Duck
Starting the Year off Right - Bourbon Molasses Braised Duck
Starting the Year off Right - Bourbon Molasses Braised Duck

Monday, October 14, 2013

Overcoming Kitchen Fears - Crispy Roast Duck with Orange, Honey and Mustard Glaze

I love duck. The crispy skin, the moist flavorsome meat that stands up to stronger flavours than chicken. If I see duck on a menu, I will invariably order it. In fact, my husband recently went out to dinner and came home and told me he had to take me there because it had my ideal dish. We went, less than a week later because he was so excited for me to have it and he couldn’t have been more right. It was roast duck breast, with ginger and pumpkin puree on scallops and beetroot salad. You couldn’t get a more perfect combination of my current favourite foods in the one dish! Especially the duck and scallops. Love!

When I saw that a supermarket had whole ducks on special, I knew that it was time to try cooking it. Now, as much as I love duck, I’ve also been served a fair few bad duck dishes. It seems that duck is really easy to over-cook. And so I left my whole duck in the freezer for a while before I got the courage to actually try it. I read the cooking instructions on the back of the packet and then a few more recipes from the duck supplier’s website, and it all seemed pretty straight-forward. And from this, and the process of cooking it I learnt a few important things about cooking duck that are important. Number 1. Duck has a lot of fat just below the skin. You want most of this to render out – both to make the finished meat less fatty and to help the skin get crispy, not soggy. The best way to do this is to pierce the skin, so it can come out as it roasts. Number 2. This fat can smoke/spatter/be just plain dangerous. The best way to deal with this is to add liquid to the roasting tray, and put the duck in a rack up out of it. Apart from that, roasting the duck is pretty much the same as roasting a chicken. So don’t be scared! The added bonus of roasting a duck this way is that it creates an awesome duck stock and duck fat. Just pour the fat/pan juices into a container and put it in the fridge. It’ll separate into duck jelly below, duck fat on top. To make stock out of the jelly just add hot water.

I saw a catalogue which had the cookbook associated with Jamie Oliver’s new show teaching you how to use leftovers to maximize the cost savings of using up everything you buy. This roast duck was a good example of how to do this. Served as a roast the first night, I then shredded the leftover meat and heated it up in the leftover glaze/sauce and served it with pancakes the next night. The following night I used the stock to make a buckwheat risotto, and the duck fat is in my fridge for making duck fat roast potatoes.

Crispy Roast Duck with Orange and Mustard Glaze
1 duck
1 cup red wine
1 cup water
4 cloves garlic, peeled and slightly crushed

1 tsp sumac
½ tsp caraway seeds
Generous amount of salt
1 tsp black pepper
4 sprigs thyme

2 teaspoons seeded mustard
4 tsp honey
¼ cup orange juice
1 teaspoons caraway seeds
1 tsp sumac
½ tsp salt

Prick the duck all over. Try not to prick it through the meat, you just want to open up the skin so the fat underneath can render out.

Pour a kettle of boiling water over the duck to tighten up the skin. Pat the duck as dry as possible using paper towels, then put it on a rack and stick it in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C. Pat the duck dry again with paper towels. Rub a few tablespoons of salt on the inside and outside of the bird. Mix the rub ingredients together, and rub all over the duck and a little inside the cavity. Fill the cavity with the remainder of the thyme sprigs and the garlic cloves.

Pour 1 cup of water and 1 cup wine in the bottom of a roasting pan with a wire rack and place the duck on the rack, breast-side up. You want the duck high in the pan so it doesn’t sit in the fat that renders out of it. Roast for about an hour. After an hour, when the bird has about 30 minutes left to go, make the glaze.

Add all of the ingredients to a small pot and simmer until reduced down to a sticky sauce. Baste the duck with the sauce, then return to the oven. Roast for a further 15 minutes, then baste again. After the remaining 15 minutes it should be ready, but prick the bird in  a thick part meat and if the juices run clear, it’s cooked through. Serve immediately so the skin stays crispy.