The duck legs were $10 cheaper in Chinatown than at Whole Foods, but Chinatown doesn’t even sell rhubarb and five long stalks were on sale for $2 at Whole Foods. My wish is to just have one store to go to when I need to buy ingredients for cooking; a place with fresh and hard-to-find, yet affordable, produce. Until then, I’ll have to make long and separate trips all over the city.
This recipe from last week’s New York Times caught my eye because I haven’t cooked with duck in a long time and I’ve really only baked with rhubarb. Not to mention my recent kick with Indian flavors, I just wanted something I can reheat for next week’s lunches. I revised the recipe a little bit to avoid using a food processor for the spices–I was just too lazy to wash another gadget. The end result was duck meat that easily fell off the bone in thick sauce that was a balance of tart and sweet: perfect over warm basmati rice and some sautéed bok choy.
4 duck legs
5 stalks rhubarb, chopped
1 small can coconut milk
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 small knob of ginger, peeled, sliced
1 red onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp hot paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric
oil, salt, pepper
1. Toss salt with duck legs before cooking. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat. Brown duck legs, about 7 minutes per side. Turn and brown other side. Transfer to a bowl.
2. While duck browns, mash half of the onion with the ginger and garlic using a mortar and pestle. Transfer to a bowl and combine with all the spices. Season with salt.
3. When duck is done, spoon out all but about 2 tbsps of fat from skillet. Add remaining onions and a large pinch of salt. Sauté until soft, 5 minutes. Add seasoned ginger-garlic paste and cook until most of the liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes.
4. Add coconut milk and 2 cups water, and bring to a simmer. Add rhubarb, brown sugar and duck legs. Bring to a boil. Cover and turn heat to low, and simmer gently for 1 hour, turning duck pieces halfway through. Uncover pan, turn duck again, and let simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.
Rhubarb in one of my favorite desserts