The Duck Came C.O.D.

Roasted Duck with Ginger & Chinese Spice

Roasted Duck

I haven’t made duck in YEARS so of course I forgot how to do it.  When I crave duck I venture down to Mott St. for succulent roasted duck with Asian spices from Big Wong.  Fresh duck is not the easiest thing to find or to cook.

Or so I thought…

I was able to find fresh duck breast through Fresh Direct which I NEVER use after a not-so-pleasant customer service experience however I was recently sent an offer I found too good to pass up and they had fresh duck in their meat department.

I don’t know about others but ordering groceries online is a magical experience for me.  You go through the selection process sifting through beautifully arranged food images, apply your payment and the groceries appear at your door at a time you choose.  No waiting on line, marching up and down aisles or darting around moving shopping carts.  Nice!

I wonder about super-sized stores such as Fresh Direct and Amazon.  How are their products stored?  In particular, the perishable items?  How humungous must these places be to store all these wonderful products and have them delivered at a moments notice?  Fresh Direct is a wonder world of deliciousness for foodies like me.

I wanted to do this right so I looked around for cooking methods and roasting times and temperatures and got a variety of instructions.  I’ve roasted delicious chickens so I know how to do this.  What was consistent in the articles I found was the step to cook the duck on top of the stove, skin-side down first in order to render the fat and then roast the duck in the oven for the remaining cooking time, again skin-side down.

Roasted Duck

Vital to Asian cooking: fresh ginger & garlic and I love adding chive flowers, my new favorite ingredient.

I wanted to keep things simple so I cooked the duck in my oven using the broiler to crisp and brown the skin of the duck.  I baked the duck in the oven, skin-side down, for 30 minutes and then finished the cooking process in the broiler, skin-side up for another 20 minutes since the heat comes from above.  I often add my oven-roasted meats during the final cooking time to the broiler to sear and brown the skin giving it ultimate roasted flavor!

Roasted Duck

I didn’t want to overcook the breast and wondered if it were anything like chicken breast which I always cook for a much shorter time than other chicken parts to maintain its juiciness but thought otherwise since the meat was so dark.

Wow, look how much fat rendered from the two duck breasts:  1 1/4 cups!

(I have to rethink this since I slightly overcooked my duck breast.)

Although well-done, the resulting flavor was out of this world and I may never have to wrestle with the crowds in Chinatown again.

Here’s the recipe and process.

Roasted Duck

Spices and herbs.

Roasted Duck

Spices and herbs mix for marinade.

Roasted Duck

Rinsed, dried, scored and seasoned duck breast.

Roasted Duck

Done to close to perfection!

Roasted Duck with Ginger & Chinese Spice

Ingredients

2 duck breasts (free roaming)
2 T dark soy sauce
2 T mirin sauce
2 T katsu sauce (can use another Asian sauce such as hoisin)
1-2 T minced garlic
1-2 T minced ginger
¼ C chives, finely chopped
1 ½ t Chinese Five Spice

Process:  wash and dry duck breast; slice the skin to better absorb spices and render fat; combine all other ingredients to make a rub; rub onto the duck breasts and let marinate for a few hours; preheat oven to 400 F degrees; add duck skin-side down to oven and bake for 20 minutes then remove and turn skin-side up and broil for another 15 minutes; let stand covered before slicing and serve.


A Few Carrots for Easter

Cannoli Cream-Filled Carrot Cupcakes

Cannoli Carrot Cupcakes

Been feeling reflective and meditative this entire, very holy weekend. It’s rare that I quiet my mind enough to reflect on the wonderfull-ness of my life and I have to say, it feels good to really feel it! So I will be doing this more often.

In terms of food, I’ve been experimenting with cream-filled cupcakes.  Frostings, icings, and cream fillings are not things I tackle due to their complexity, as I have written so many times. I’m seeking a creamy, high-quality flavor that would not be easy to create and I try my best to keep things as simple as possible yet, it may be time to branch out and grow.

These carrot cupcakes were a big hit from colleagues at work and if you enjoy the flavors of cinnamon, spice and cream cheese frosting, the cannoli cream filling takes the flavor and texture to another level.
Try these special cupcakes on this oh so special day, they will transform your holiday baking tradition.

Cannoli Carrot Cupcakes

Cannoli Cream-Filled Carrot Cupcakes (with Cream Cheese Frosting, of course)

Carrot Cupcake (Yield = 16 cupcakes)

Dry ingredients: 1 cup flour, ¾ cup whole wheat flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon each – salt, all-spice, and nutmeg,
Wet ingredients: 3 eggs, ¾ cup canola oil, 1 ½ tablespoons fresh grated ginger, ½ teaspoon rum extract (or vanilla)
Add-ins: 3 cups of grated organic carrots, ½ cup pecan pieces (or walnuts or raisins).
Process: add all dry ingredients to a large bowl; add wet ingredients to a smaller bowl and mix well; combine the wet into the dry and mix well; fold in carrots and pecans. Bake at 350 F degrees for about 20 minutes.

Cannoli Cream Filling

Ingredients: 1 ¼ cups ricotta cheese, 4 ounces cream cheese, ½ cup confectioners’ sugar, ½ teaspoon vanilla, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, 1 cup of fresh whipped organic cream.
Process: add all ingredients except cream, to a food processor and process until smooth; fold the whipped cream into the processed mixture. Use a long tubular piping tip and bag and insert into cooled cupcake to fill. See this video for more instruction.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients: 4 ounces cream cheese, 4 ounces butter, 1 ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 cup whipped organic cream.
Process: mix all ingredients except the whipped cream together; fold in the whipped cream.

Cannoli Carrot Cupcakes

Cannoli Carrot Cupcakes

Cannoli Carrot Cupcakes

Cannoli Carrot Cupcakes


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