Sunday, January 21, 2018

 A little duck is part of the flights of fancy penned by Leuing in the Sydney Herald.  Duck is hardly a well known food around here, there are the Asian stores where a rack of bright red cooked birds hang in the window.
  Ex-senator Amanda Vanstone has a polite talk show on  ABC radio and she alluded to the purchase from Woolworths of a carton of frozen ducks or maybe 2 cartons.  As a past minister to do with social security and another time immigration she was a minister with a firm hand in the genera of the unforgettable Ruddock and now, for goodness sake, Dutton   She was ‘rewarded’ with a diplomatic post in Italy.
  A few months ago I spied a consignment of frozen ducks in the freezer aisles at Woolworths and somehow Vanstone influenced me to buy.  It is hard to recall ever having eaten duck until more recent times when a thoroughly enjoyable example was had at Sydney Junction Hotel in Hamilton.  Delicious served in a jus.
 A re-run of Rick Stein food adventures in Vietnam had insight into the cities and heritage but he was enthusiastic about duck cooked Asian style.  I jotted down the details and probably got most of it.
 It was the recipe for me.  It was deemed to need 39 hours to defrost before dividing the duck  into portions which was new ground. It is not the same as a chicken carcass and garden secateurs came into use as I hacked away on the fatty slippery bird.  The fat was significant and was trimmed, I believe it has its uses, and frying and browning released more and more fat.
  A large old pressure cooker was big enough for all the pieces bathed in a fluid concoction which gradually heated and spread a wonderful aroma during the slow cooking process.  Yes, the sauce was delicious and the meat unusual.  Too late I found it was more than cooked and overcooking may have had some negative consequences. Also the recipe would seem good with chicken pieces.
 It produced several meals to freeze and will be interesting later-on beyond the heavenly day of glorious abundance of duck.

The recipe has well know items.  Fry duck pieces for 5 – 6 minutes and discard the fat.  Into the cooking pot with the duck put lots of garlic and fresh ginger and almost cover with orange juice.  Add 2 tablespoons fish sauce, several star anise, 3-4 chillies and a bruised lemon grass, 1 tablespoon palm sugar, ………  Cook slowly.  Add shallots near the end of cooking.  Thicken with corn flour.


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