Slow-cooked duck with Vietnamese flavours
( SERVES 4 )
Photo by Tamara West
The French colonisation of Vietnam lasted nearly 100 years, resulting in the merging of two quite different culinary styles – this recipe is an example of how well they work together.
- Heat the oven to 170C.
- Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat. Rub duck with oil and place in frying pan, skin side down and brown. Turn duck and brown on other side, then transfer to a casserole dish with fitting lid. Drain excess fat from the frying pan, leaving about 2 tablespoons. Remove frying pan from the heat for about 1 minute to allow it to cool down slightly.
- Add shallots, garlic, lemongrass, star anise, cinnamon and Chinese five-spice and cook until fragrant, but watch out so they don’t burn.
- Add orange zest and juice, sherry, fish sauce and stock. Bring to the boil then pour over the duck in the casserole dish. (The duck should be just covered in liquid). Press a piece of baking paper down on top, cover with the lid and place in the oven. Cook for 2 hours until the duck is tender. Taste sauce for seasoning and finish with a good pinch of sugar.
- If the sauce is a little too sloppy, remove duck and keep warm while you boil the sauce down a little. Serve duck with a green vegetable.
Cutting up a whole duck
- Use poultry scissors or a large sharp knife. Cut down each side of the backbone and remove.
- Remove the legs by cutting through the thigh joint. Cut the breast in half lengthways, through the breastbone.