I cooked this crispy duck breast salad for our 12th anniversary dinner. Our anniversary dinner was a day late because we both forgot our anniversary, until the end of the day when I remembered. I, of course, played the “I was just waiting to see if you’d remember” card… but Dwayne saw through it!
What I had aboard…duck breast, cabbage, carrot, chilli, star anise, cinnamon sticks, chicken stock, ginger, garlic, peppercorns and soy.
What I did…
I made a master stock of :
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup dark soy
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
2 cm ginger, sliced
2 garlic, crushed
I mixed all the stock ingredients together and marinated the two duck breasts for 12 hours. Then I removed the duck and put the marinade into a pot and brought it to the boil. I simmered this stock for 10 minutes before adding the duck breast. I then added the duck and simmered for a further 5 minutes. I removed the duck breasts (reserve the stock) and dried them on a paper towel and sat them before a fan to dry.
In the mean time I made a salad of shredded cabbage, carrots and julienne chillies.
To serve I placed the salad on plates and set them aside. I heated oil in a fry pan and fried the duck for a few minutes on the underside before turning it over and frying the duck breast, skin side down, until crispy. Once crispy, I sat the duck aside for a few minutes while I heated the reserved stock, reducing it. I sliced the duck and placed it on the salad and ladled some of the reduced master stock over the salad.
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Bebek Betutu – Bahasa Indonesia Bebek is duck and Betutu is the name of the blend of spices. It is a popular ceremonial dish in Bali.
On a little island just off Pulau Bawean in the Java Sea, Dwayne and I decided to cook a duck on the beach. First thing we had to do was decide how were we going to cook this duck (which would take about four hours).
We tossed around ideas of cooking the duck ‘hungi’ or ‘lovo’ style (buried in the ground with hot rocks), but because we didn’t know whether the rocks on the beach would hold their heat we decided to build an ‘oven’ that would have a small fire at the bottom.
Armed only with a small shovel and some ideas on what he wanted to build, Dwayne headed to the beach to build the oven while I made a betutu paste and prepared the duck.
I decided to use a recipe I had seen on the SBS website, you can find the link for it at the bottom of this blog.
For the betutu paste I blended shallots, garlic, candlenuts, shrimp paste, galangal, ginger, turmeric, chilli, palm sugar, black peppercorns, coriander seeds, lime juice, kaffir lime leaves in my mortar.
I cleaned the duck inside and out and then rubbed some paste on the inside of the duck cavity and all over the outside.
I wrapped the duck in banana leaves and put it in a tray and covered it with alfoil.
The duck was ready to put in Dwayne’s oven.
Meanwhile Dwayne had found a large slab of wood with a ready made chimney and used it as the back of the oven. Using a large rock on the beach as one wall he then had to build the next two walls of the oven out of rocks and sand, leaving a small opening to feed the fire at the bottom of the oven. After I put the prepared duck in to the oven we closed the top with bamboo and pandanas leaves.
We had to feed the small fire at the bottom of the oven constantly as we didn’t have any first class wood to build up the coals.
We wrapped a couple of potatoes in alfoil and popped them in the oven. Meanwhile I was soaking a length of bamboo in the beach water, getting prepared to cook some rice in it.
All I did for the rice is add 1 cup of rice and 1 1/2 cups of fresh water to the bamboo and seal the top with alfoil. I propped the bamboo over a small fire and cooked the rice slowly, until it was miraculously cooked…. to perfection.
Not everything when smoothly our oven did partially collapse once and the roof of bamboo and pandanas leaves caught alight a couple of times! But in the end the duck was fall-apart tender. Potatoes and rice were al dente`. Fantastic meal in a fantastic setting….. worth the five hours of hard work!