- Recipe(s): Gorgeous slow-cooked duck pasta (page 81)
- Prep: Moderate
This entry is part 1 of a 2-part series that chronicles our foray into the world of cooking duck.
On October 26, 2014, we made a lovely slow-cooked duck pasta, which was completely different from the other duck recipe, which we made for friends, way back on July 5, 2014.
The prep for the pasta recipe was definitely on the high end of moderate. There are a lot of different ingredients, each of which seemed like it needed to be prepped in one way or another. My partner did the lions share of the prep, which she started in the morning so that it was all ready to go when we wanted to start making the meal. It was like when you watch a cooking show on TV and the hosts have all their ingredients ready to go in different bowls. No wonder if looks like it doesn’t take them too long to make the recipe! In hindsight, she said she would have used the Kitchen Ninja, which would reduce the prep time substantially. All I had to prep was the duck itself, which required a rub down of olive oil, salt and pepper, and stuffing an orange (quartered) into it. You could say I got off easy this time.
I was also tasked with the second part of the duck prep, which required me to tear the meat off the bone and shred it into the sweet and sour sauce. Now, in the book it says you can do this after 15 minutes of the duck coming out of the oven. I beg to differ with that statement. It may be because I am an analyst and have dainty hands but that duck was in the oven for 2 hours at 350 C. After ‘cooling’ for 15 minutes it was still scalding hot! With a bit of ingenuity (using neoprene oven mitts) I was able to get all the meat off of the bone and into the sauce.
This dish was solidly good. The duck itself was cooked perfectly. The meat was nice and tender and the skin was crispy. I actually didn’t put any of the skin in the finished dish but I did take a few bites when I pulled it off the meat! I found the sauce to be very similar to the Agro Dolce sauce that was used in one of the chicken recipes we completed a few months ago. It was definitely tasty and rich. I didn’t find it as sour as expected. The orange flavour definitely stood out but added more of a sweetness than it did sour. In fact, most of the ingredients added sweetness. Perhaps in the future adding more vinegar at the end would counteract some of the sweetness that is brought with the orange, cinnamon, and sultanas, not to mention the red wine that has been reduced.
My partner thought that the dish could use more salt. We didn’t use any chicken stock in the cooking process, which the recipe does say can be used, because we found the sauce to have too much liquid already. I think that adding a little less red wine and topping it up with some chicken stock would have been sufficient. Perhaps, if we were to make this again, we would do that, however, due to the prep/cooking time being at least 3 hours we may not make this again. We would, however, consider making just the pasta portion without the duck. This part of the recipe is much quicker to make and I think with a little tweaking here and there, would make a lovely vegetarian dish. The recipe was big enough that we had leftovers (our favourite) and on the second day I think it tasted even better. It seemed like the sauce had more time to develop. All in all, a good dish!