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    Roast Tamarind Duck

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    Roast Tamarind Duck

    Poaching the duck in stock allows its fat to render out without overcooking. A final blast in a very hot oven produces a crisp skin. Serve with braised greens and pan-fried noodles.

    • Total time: 3 hours 60 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes

    Serves: 4


    • 4.25 litres duck or chicken stock
    • 1 x 2-2.5kg duck
    • 3 spring onions
    • Sauce
    • Salt
    • 4 tablespoons mirin (Japanese rice wine), or 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar mixed with 2 tablespoons of water and 1 of sugar
    • 150ml skimmed stock (from cooking the duck)
    • 1 tablespoon honey
    • 2 ½ tablespoons tamarind paste (see above)
    • 15g butter
    • Pepper
    • Spice rub
    • ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
    • ¼ teaspoon aniseeds
    • ¼ teaspoon allspice berries
    • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
    • 1½ tablespoons salt
    • Tamarind paste
    • 2 spring onions, roughly chopped
    • 100g tamarind purée (soak 150g tamarind pulp in 125ml hot water then push mix through a seive and weigh the resulting purée)
    • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
    • 1 tablespoon grated root ginger
    • Juice of one lime
    • 2 tablespoons honey


    1. Toast the fennel, aniseeds, and allspice berries in a dry frying pan over a medium heat until fragrant.
    2. Cool, then grind coarsely in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. Mix with the pepper and salt. You'll have a little more spice rub than you need for this recipe.
    3. Put all the ingredients for the tamarind paste in a food processor and purée until smooth.
    4. In a large pan, heat the stock. Prepare the duck: remove any stray feathers. Pull out the giblets. Trim off any excess fat, especially around the neck and tail. Remove the wing tips and feet, if still attached, and add to the stock. Prick the skin lightly with a fork, especially in areas where fat is visible through the skin, to allow the fat to render out while the duck cooks. Season the bird inside with some of the spice mix and spread 1 tablespoon of the tamarind paste in the cavity. Put the spring onions inside and sew up the neck and tail openings.
    5. When the stock is boiling, put the duck in. Place a plate on top of the bird to keep it submerged. Let the liquid come back up to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 45 minutes. Remove the duck and place it on a rack. Blot it with paper towels, season it well with more spice mixture, and let it dry for 30 minutes.
    6. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 230°C/gas 8 - or as hot as your oven will go. Put 1 tablespoon of fat from the surface of the stock in a roasting tin. Heat the pan in the oven for a minute and place the duck, breast side up, in the tin. Put the duck in the oven with its legs facing the rear and roast for 25-30 minutes until its skin is brown and crisp, or a meat thermometer reads 58°C at the meaty part of the breast. Once or twice during roasting, baste the bird, and move it a little, so it doesn't stick to the tin. About 3 minutes before the duck is done, brush it with a thin layer of the tamarind paste. Let the paste brown a bit, but keep an eye on the bird after it is applied: it will blacken quickly. Remove from the oven and let the duck rest while you make the sauce.
    7. Pour off the fat in the roasting tin. Pour in the mirin (or sweetened vinegar and water), and scrape up the juices and any little bits left in the pan. (If the pan has burnt bits in it, don't use it for the sauce; start cooking the mirin in the saucepan.) Pour the mix into a saucepan. Boil until nearly all the liquid has evaporated, then add the skimmed stock, honey and tamarind paste. Boil to reduce the liquid by half. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter. Adjust the seasoning. Carve the duck and serve with the sauce.

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