Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Day 91! Laos-Garlic Duck and Jasmine Rice - Up Next, Latvia

Laotian Garlic Duck with Jasmine Rice
Okay, so all you uber-foodies out there, don't laugh, but while looking for duck in the supermarket today, I came across a capon. Unsure as to whether or not this fowl was some kind of duck, I placed a culinary 911 call to my friend Ben, who knows everything there is to know about food. And, if he doesn't know, his cyber-snoop skills are so supreme that within 2 minutes, he'd replied that no, capon is not duck, it's a castrated rooster. Uhhhhh...okay, so not a duck. Not only that, he'd located a slaughter house in the next town over that carried fresh duck, quite possibly with its feathers intact. But, as luck would have it, "my" Market Basket didn't let me down. They had plenty of duck breast in stock, along with all the other ingredients I needed to make tonight's Laotian dinner.

Located in Southeast Asia, Laos is a landlocked country that is bordered by Burma, The People's Republic of China, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand.

Laotian cuisine is distinct from other Southeast Asian countries because it's influenced by several Thai provinces as well as Cambodia. Moreover, there is a significant French tradition found in Laos, especially in less rural areas, where baguettes and French fusion restaurants are common place.

Jasmine Rice

Two heads of garlic make the fragrant paste

Turmeric flavors and colors the dish a beautiful golden hue

Browned duck - say no more

Cilantro and lime put the final touch on the dish

Garlic Duck and Rice (adapted from Global Gourmet)

  • 2 cups jasmine rice
  • 2 whole heads garlic, cloves separated and peeled
  • 2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp. sea salt, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • 3 tablespoons nam pla (fish sauce)
  • 4 duck boneless duck breasts or one 4-5 lb. duck, cut into serving sizes, excess fat trimmed
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped for garnish
  • Lime wedges for serving

  1. Put the rice a strainer and rinse well, then soak in cold water to cover.
  2. Meanwhile put the garlic, pepper, salt, turmeric and nam pla into a food processor and process until the garlic is pasty and ingredients are well incorporated - scrape sides as needed.
  3. Place a deep skillet or flameproof casserole with a lid over medium-high heat. Add the duck, skin side down, and brown well, adjusting the heat and turning so that pieces are evenly browned - about 5-7 minutes if using duck breast, 10-15 minutes if using a cut up duck. Transfer to plate when done, and pour off all but a couple of tablespoons of the fat.
  4. Add the garlic paste to the skillet and cook, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Return dug to the pan and stir to coat wit the sauce.
  5. Add 3-1/2 cups water to the pan with the duck and bring to a boil. Drain the rice and slowly stir into the pan. Bring the water to a boil again, cover, turn the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the rice cooked through, about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the duck and rice mixture sit for 10 minutes. Garnish with chopped cilantro and lime wedges.
Final Assessment: What can I say? Duck, jasmine rice, turmeric, garlic, cilantro and lime...heaven.


OysterCulture said...

This sounds just delicious and a nice change from all the super heavy foods I've had lately.

sadie said...

Thanks! It was and easy too!!

KK said...

ha ! wouldn't have even taken me two minutes ;) Love duck...and I especially love duck you make...need to have some soon !