Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Crispy Szechaun Duck with Pak Choi and Noodles

Crispy Szechaun Duck with Pak Choi and Noodles

I absolutely love duck, so was well chuffed to find it half price at my local supermarket. Such a treat for a dreary Tuesday night in January! If possible try to get whole peppercorns and crush just before using - the taste is miles better.

  • 2 duck breast, skin on
  • 1 large pak choi (or a couple of smaller ones!)
  • 3/4 spring onions (scallions)
  • 1 crushed clove of garlic
  • 1.5 inch piece of ginger root
  • 2 portions egg noodles
  • sesame oil
  • soy sauce
  • 1 heaped tsp crushed szechaun pepper corns
  • 1 tsp salt
Start by cross-scoring the duck skin at about 5 mm intervals - this allows the szechaun flavour to get right into the meat, and also makes the crispiest skin. Be careful not to cut right through the skin though - a sharp knife will help a lot!

Once this is done, dry the skin with a bit of kitchen towel, then season with the salt - rubbing it right into the scores. Then rub the crushed szechuan pepper into the skin in the same way.

Place the duck skin-side down into a cold frying pan, then turn on the heat as low as possible.

Allow to cook like this for 15 minutes, draining off fat as required. I used quite large duck breast - if yours are smaller, maybe reduce this time by 2/3 minutes.

While the duck is cooking, prepare the vegetables:
  • Finely shred the spring onions on the diagonal.
  • Peel and chop the ginger into thin matchsticks
  • If using the big pak choi, then roughly shed (each piece about 2 inches wide) If using the baby stuff, then half or quarter it
Back to the duck! Once the cooking time is up, turn the heat to high and cook for 3 minutes just to finish crisping off the skin. Don't strain any fat at this point - we will be using it to prepare the rest of the dish. Reduce the heat to medium and turn over the duck breasts. Cook for 2-4 minutes - or until required 'doneness'! For the tenderest duck meat, you want it to be pretty pink in the middle. Remove duck to a plate.

Cook the egg noodles according to the packet. Once cooked, drain well and return to pan. Add 1 teaspoon each of sesame oil and soy sauce and stir to mix.

While the noodles are cooking, add a teaspoon of roasted sesame oil to the pan you cooked the duck in, follow with the garlic and ginger. Turn the heat to medium and fry for a couple of minutes.

Add the spring onions and pak choi and fry for 3 minutes until just tender. Add a teaspoon of soy (or to taste) and remove from the heat.

Time to plate up!
Move the duck breasts to a chopping board and slice on the diagonal. If there are any juices on the resting plate, pour these onto the pak choi mix.
Place a mound of noodles onto each dish. Top this with the pak choi mix, then placed the sliced duck breast on top. Drizzle any juices from the pak choi pan over the duck and if you have any lying around, garnish with coriander!

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javagirlkt's cookin' said...

Wow, I've never had duck before and it's never really appealed to me, but yours looks wonderful!

Ruth Daniels said...

Another great pasta dish. So glad to see someone else out there who loves it as much as I do.