It has been 6 months. 6 months of London life; a move, a new neighborhood and culinary experiences that have ranged from the informal drunken joy of discovering the new local chicken shop to culinary-gasiming over the raspberry souffle cloud of dreams in high heels courtesy of Micheal Roux at the Langham.
A few weeks ago I had the joy and merriment of discovering my new local farmers market in Queens Park. (I now live in Queens Park. Or alternatively I say Kilburn. It depends on how fancy vs 'urban' I feel that day.) This pretty much involved my flat mate and I running around eating every cheese sample available and spending far too much money on purple cauliflowers.
We were keen on something Thai for dinner but didn't fancy the usual chicken or prawn vibe so decided to go a little left field and bought some duck from a raather nice man at the farmers market. To accompany it I made a thai green curry vegetable broth. It was a real Sunday treat and serving the duck as such ensures you get the rendered down crispy duck skin vibes everyone loves.
Serves 2 with leftover paste.
2 duck breasts, skin scored and seasoned
1 tbsp flavourless oil
For the curry paste:
2 lemongrass stalks
2 kaffir lime leaves
stalks of a bunch of coriander
3 fat garlic cloves
2 inch piece of ginger or galangal
zest of 1 lime
2-3 hot thai chilles
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 red onion
An assortment of vegetables , I used aubergine, cavolo nero and cauliflower
Tin of coconut milk
1 chicken stock cube
500 ml water
palm (or brown) sugar
the leaves from the bunch of coriander, chopped
2 more lime leaves finely shredded
Pre heat oven to 200˚C
Blitz all the ingredients for the paste in a processor or bash it up in pestle and mortar.
Now get the duck on. Place it skin side down on a medium heat in a frying pan for 6-8 minutes until golden brown, pour off the fat regularly and then seal the other side for 30 seconds.
Now on a rack in a roasting tin in the middle of the oven roast the breasts for 8 -12 minutes (8 for rare, 12 for medium, cook it anymore and you don't deserve to eat it because your a bad person)
While the duck roasts take two table spoons of the paste and sweat in the oil until fragrant. Add the cubed aubergine, stock cube, water, coconut milk and shredded lime leaves then leave to simmer until the aubergine is nearly cooked through and the sauce has reduced by about a 3rd. Now throw in the cauliflower, broken into florets and the cavolo nero shredded for the last 5 minutes.
The duck should be about done now, whip it out and leave to rest for 10 mins.
When the veg is cooked balance the sauce. Taste it, think about it and then pimp it with the sugar, fish sauce, lime juice and coriander and even freshly sliced chilli if required until you have a salty/sweet/spicy/sour dreamy harmony.
Serve the veg and sauce on a bed of steamed rice and top with the sliced duck breast.