I love duck. Whether it is cooked through with crispy skin (think Peking duck in Chinatown windows), seared and pink, confited until fork tender or even dry cured into chewy little duck ham slices - the combination of dark, gamey meat and lots of melt in the mouth fat is always going to be a winner. The skin and the fat is so sublime it can end up being the best bit, whilst others dive in for the breast meat when I'm confronted with the British takeaway favourite crispy duck my pancakes are always filled with skin and the wobbliest bits of fat, the meat is good - sure - but the fat is better. Even with all that loving I've never stewed a duck before but looking through the fantastic Cook Malaysian this weekend a recipe caught my eye. Duck deep fried then stewed in a dark soy gravy with masses of ginger had to leave a tasty dish.
I managed to get the last duck from Sainsbury and as it was a bit larger than the recipe suggested I've adapted the recipe to suit a larger British duck. The result was very good, the meat almost fell off the bone whilst not being overcooked and dry and the stock was nice and rich, it even set to a jelly when left to cool. When you deep fry the duck make sure to really give it lots of colour, I didn't cook some of my bits enough and the colour washed off during the simmering, leaving the skin a bit wobbly and pallid. If you get the meat and skin really dark it should keep both colour and texture even after the hour simmering.
Duck Stewed with Ginger
1 duck, approx. 2kg
2 TB light soy sauce
1.5 TB dark soy sauce
8 dried shittake mushrooms, soaked
75gr ginger, peeled
3 cloves garlic
3 spring onions
1 TB preserved black beans
1 ts sugar
2 ts sesame oil
Few grinds of black pepper
1 TB Shaoxing rice wine
2 TB cornflour slaked with 2 TB of water
1/2 iceberg lettuce
Cut duck into pieces, complete with bone then marinade in 1 TB each of light and dark soy. I chopped the wings and legs off with a cleaver and then cut each into two pieces. I then cut the breasts and their bone out of the carcass with a pair of poultry shears before chopping each into three pieces. This left me with 14 pieces in total.
Deep fry duck pieces till well browned.
Remove stems from mushroom and halve, roughly chop garlic, slice ginger into 3mm slices, mash black beans into a paste
Add salt, sugar, sesame oil, pepper and remaining soy sauces into the water
Stir fry ginger and garlic for 1 min then add bean paste and give another minute.
Add duck, gravy and mushrooms, bring to the boil and then cover, turning down heat and simmering for 1 hour
Take off lid, turn up heat and reduce for a bit, add cornflour, simmer till thick then add spring onions (cut into 4cm lengths) and the rice wine.
Serve on top of lettuce leaves that have been briefly boiled.
Adapted from Cook Malaysian by Lee Sook Ching.