Sunday, February 23, 2014

Honey-Glazed Roast Duck and Bourbon-Pickled Jalapenos



This weekend seems to be the weekend for posting about hunks of roasted meats.  On Saturday I posted a roasted pork shoulder.  I finally got around today to posting about the honey-glazed roast duck that we made from Ed Lee's cookbook back on New Years Day.  Pathetic, huh?  I have no real excuse for being so delinquent in my posting, except that work is busy and we have been traveling a bit.  It is particularly sad given how incredibly excited I was by this meal (both before and while eating).  My laziness has nothing to do with how much I liked this duck.  I LOVE duck in general and I thought this roast duck had really good flavor.  It's no replacement for Peking duck, but it was a nice take on roast duck.  My biggest compliant about the duck was that the skin needed to render more.  It was still fatty and not at all crispy.  It was more... sticky (and a little rubbery).  I dunno if our duck was just fattier than the duck that Ed Lee uses - he might use some sort of free range duck with more flavor and less fat.  But it was still really good.  I loved the bourbon-pickled jalapenos that we served with it - they were the perfect boozy, sweet and spicy accompaniment for the richness of the duck and the sweet flavor of the glaze.  Definitely serve the duck with some herbs and thinly sliced cucumbers because that freshness also works to cut through the fattiness of the duck.

Recipe after the jump!



Honey-Glazed Roast Duck
Adapted from Smoke and Pickles:  Recipes and Stories from a New Southern Kitchen
By Edward Lee

INGREDIENTS:
For the duck:
1 5 lb duck
1/4 cup kosher salt
15 garlic cloves, peeled
s&p
chicken stock for pan (if desired)
For the glaze:
1/2 cup honey
2 tbsp fresh orange juice
2 tbsp soy sauce
For serving:
Bourbon-Pickled Jalapenos (recipe below)
sliced cucumbers
fresh cilantro
fresh basil
Sriracha

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Remove the gizzards from the duck.  Rinse the duck under cold running water (inside and out) and pat dry.  Using a very sharp knife, score the skin (being careful not to cut into the meat itself), making a diagonal cross-hatch pattern across the breast.  Place the duck in a colander in the sink.  

Bring 4 cups of water and the salt to a boil.  Set the pan of boiling water near the sink.  Using a large ladle, slowly pour the boiling water over the duck.  The skin should shrink and curl a bit as the fat renders from the skin (according to the recipe, this should make the skin crispier).

Scatter the garlic cloves over the bottom of a cast iron skillet or a roasting pan.  Set the duck, breast side up, on the garlic.  Add a few tablespoons of chicken stock (or water) to the pan.  Roast for 45 minutes.  Flip the duck over and roast 15 minutes.  Flip the duck back, so the breast is facing up again, and roast for another 15 minutes.  If at any point the pan is bone dry and the garlic looks like it is burning, you can always add in a little more stock. 

Meanwhile, make the glaze.  Combine all glaze ingredients in a bowl and whisk together.  

Take the pan out of the oven, carefully tilt it, and pour as much of the rendered duck fat as possible into a bowl.  You can either save the duck fat in a lidded jar in the refrigerator (if you want to experiment with cooking potatoes or other things with duck fat) or toss it.  Brush the glaze generously over the duck.  Turn the oven up to 450 degrees F and roast the duck for 15 minutes, brushing a little more glaze over it once or twice.

Take the duck out of the oven and base with any remaining glaze in the bottom of the pan.  Serve immediately with roasted garlic and other garnishes.


Bourbon-Pickled Jalapenos
Smoke and Pickles:  Recipes and Stories from a New Southern Kitchen
By Edward Lee

INGREDIENTS:
1 lb jalapeno peppers
1 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar
1 cup bourbon
1/2 cup honey
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp salt
1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
2 bay leaves

Wearing disposable gloves (if you have or want them), slice the jalapenos into 1/4-thick rounds.  Transfer to a jar.  

Combine vinegar, bourbon, honey, coriander seeds, salt, mustard seeds and bay leaves in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes.

Pour the hot liquid over the peppers and seal the jar(s) with a tight-fitting lid, let cool to room temperature, and refrigerate.  The peppers will be ready in 3 days, and they will keep for up to 2 weeks.

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