Tuesday, 27 September 2011
Half a duck = 2 meals for two
One of the things I like best - and I guess why I ended up writing the book and this blog - is finding cheap ingredients and conjuring up something tasty from them. So I literally fell on this half duck at the Co-op which was reduced from £5.37 to £2.75.
What to do with it? Well I was thinking of duck burritos (mmmm) but then settled for a slow roast duck with braised peas and chorizo (below). Extra expenditure: a bag of frozen peas, a chorizo ring and a soft round lettuce all of which could be used for the following night's meal.
We didn't stint ourselves either. I had half the breast, my husband the other half and the leg and a good helping of peas. Mash would have been good too but we're trying to lay off the carbs.
The following night, I decided I would make a version of the Portuguese dish Duck Rice so I stripped the meat from the carcass and made a stock from the bones (overnight in the Aga but you could easily make it on the hob).
I then chopped about 75g of chorizo (still leaving half the sausage for another meal) and fried it in a little fat, adding a finely chopped onion once it had begun to brown. Then a scant teaspoon each of ground cumin and coriander and a good pinch of oregano, and the finely chopped duck meat fried for another 3-4 minutes. I tipped in 125g of basmati rice, stirred it and poured in 250ml of the duck stock then transferred it uncovered to a hot oven for about 10 minutes, forked it over, added the leftover peas from the previous night and gave it another 5 minutes. The thing about duck rice is that it needs to get a bit crusty. We had it with the remaining leaves from the previous night's lettuce + a few extra salad leaves
You can do this kind of savoury rice or pilau with anything you have left over - a bit of chicken or pork would also be good or you could use bacon instead of chorizo. You do need an onion and some kind of spices though and a few mushrooms never go amiss
There's still enough duck stock to make a tasty soup - probably an onion one as that's what I've got hanging around in the kitchen at the moment but if you've got a couple of beetroot it's perfect for a borscht.
Slow roast duck with peas and chorizo
1/2 a duck, split lengthways
Salt, pepper and a touch of 5 spice if you have some
For the peas
2 tbsp olive oil
50g chorizo or bacon
1 onion or half a bunch of spring onions
A pinch each of smoked paprika (pimenton) and cumin (optional)
350g frozen peas
250ml hot vegetable stock made with a tsp of Marigold bouillon powder
3 to 4 outer leaves from a round lettuce
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Trim any excess fat off the duck (but not the covering fat), stab it a few times with a sharp knife then place it on a roasting rack in a tin and pour boiling water over the skin. Leave it to dry for 10 minutes or so then pour away the water, pat it dry with kitchen towel and season with salt and pepper.
Put a little oil in the roasting tin so the base of the duck doesn't stick then place the duck in the tin and roast for about 15 minutes until it begins to change colour. Turn the heat right down to 140°C and continue to cook the duck for about 3-4 hours turning the temperature down a bit more if it seems to be cooking too quickly. (I left it in the Aga lower oven for about 5 1/2 hours.)
Meanwhile cook the peas. Heat the olive oil in a pan and fry the chorizo or bacon until it starts to colour. Stir in the chopped onion and cook until soft. Add the smoked pimenton and cumin if using then tip in the peas, stir and add the stock. Half cover the pan and simmer until the peas are cooked - about 20 minutes. Wash and shred the lettuce and add to the pan then adjust the seasoning.
If you like you can remove the skin from the duck and crisp it up in a dry frying pan or a hot oven but it cooks so long I don't think you'll find it tastes fatty.