Friday, March 7, 2008

Orange Braised Duck Legs

So it's Friday night and I'm sitting in my apartment drinking Coors Light (out of a can but with the Frost Brew Liner AND the Wide Mouth opening) and putting up this blog post. I mean, that's totally balla, right? Don't worry. I'm going out in a little bit but I thought I'd throw this up before I left.

So, EVEN MORE noodle soup. Is it getting out of hand? Maybe, a bit. But it is delicious and it is cheap. Can't shake a fist at that. Or you could, if you really wanted to. This recipe is pulled out of Braise: A Journey Through International Cuisine. Can I recommend it? I dunno. I've made 5-6 recipes out of the book and, so far, this is the only one that has impressed me. So, as of now, I can't recommend it.

I'm gonna start this before I'm too drunk and my typing turns into something like this: al;aeiojimklioducklaseinsbraiseklseaioorange.

Everything you need for step one of this recipe:
BTW, if you ever wanna piss me off, just find a clip of Bobby Flay saying "hoisin." Something about the way he says it just drives me up the wall. Ughh.

The 6 duck legs need to marinate over night: The marinade consists of 2 tablespoons of peeled, grated ginger, 2 tablespoons of black vinegar, 2 tablespoons of hoisin sauce, a tablespoon of kosher salt, 2 teaspoons of chili sauce, 2 teaspoons of 5 spice powder, grated zest and juice of an orange. For the oranges, use a microplane to get the zest off. Or, if you're frugal, use a rasp from your local hardware store.
Grind 2 teaspoons of Sichuan peppercorns and rub into the duck legs. Drop the legs into the marinade and refrigerate over night:
So far, so good. I think I'm going to make it through this post. My fingers don't feel TOO rubbery.

The next day, preheat your oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit, take the legs out of the marinade and try to remove the excess marinade. Just rub it off. RESERVE THE EXCESS MARINADE. Brown the legs in some oil. Or duck fat, if you're feeling plucky (yes, plucky is a real word). If you have to, do this in batches.

Drop the browned legs back into the pot and pour in the reserved marinade. Add 1/4 cup of rice wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons of dark soy sauce and 2 tablespoons of light soy sauce.Cook the legs until they are tender. This'll take around 2 hours.
At this point, fish out the legs and place them in a container. Cover with the braising liquid. The next day, skim off the fat.

Soooooooo, what to do with the legs....what to do. Mashed sweet potatoes would be a great accompaniment for the legs. The sweet tuber would work well with the ginger, star anise and orange flavors of the duck. But, in my infinite Chinese wisdom, I made noodle soup.

So, fish out a leg and remove the meat off the bone. Break the meat into bite size bits. Add a bit of cilantro and some cut up green onions:
For my veggie, I'm using mustard greens. The slight bitterness will cut the richness of the braised meat:
Slice into bits,
blanch for one minute in well salted water and remove with a slotted spoon:Cook your noodles and add to the bowl...wait...who am i kidding? If you guys need help with assembling bowls of noodle soup, refer to my previous posts. For this bowl, I used a chicken bouillon cube and the recommended 2 cups of water. I also enriched the broth with a bit of leftover duck glaze from a previous recipe:Et voila:
Mustard greens, cilantro/green onion, fried shallots and my green onion/ginger condiment from a previous post. Easy peasy.

If this post is impossible to understand, don't blame me. Blame Coors Light.

Time- About 30 minutes of active work for the legs. 10 more for the noodle soup.

Food cost- Ridiculously cheap. duck legs were 13 bucks for 8 so $1.625 per piece. I did that in my head, impressed? The rest of the soup is pretty much nada. So, 2 bucks for the above bowl of soup.

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This post is approved by Paranoid Cat:

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