My duck and goose cookbook is almost done — we go into the design phase this month! — and in it are scores of new recipes that have never appeared on this site; I wanted to give loyal readers something new to chew on… literally. One of my favorite recipes in the book is a Thai green curry duck.
Now I consider myself a pretty good cook, but whenever I venture outside the Western tradition I try to seek out people who know more about the food than I do. In this case, my friend Jax Phongsavath’s mom. Jax is as American as I am, but her mom is from Thailand. So nervously I ran my green curry past her. I was overjoyed to get the “Thai Mom Seal of Approval” for that recipe. Only thing Jax said to me was that her mom usually made red curry with duck.
Huh. OK, then. Guess I’ll made a red curry duck, too. Only my publisher wasn’t keen on two Thai duck curries in the book. So here’s a sneak preview of an outtake. Hope you like it!
Thai Red Curry Duck
You can make this dish with any wild or domestic duck or goose, and you can use either skin-on or skinless breast meat. I used skinless breast meat here. If you want to use skin-on, sear the skin side of the duck breast until it’s crispy and set aside; don’t cook the meat side. Follow the recipe as written from there.
Most of the ingredients here are available at any major supermarket, and those that might be hard to find I’ve listed as optional. But each one adds to the authentic Thai flavor, so try to get them if you can. The curry paste is the most vital: If you can’t find it in your market, you can buy red curry paste online.
Serve with white steamed rice and a crisp beer, or an off-dry white wine such as a Gewurstraminer. Once you make this recipe, you can reheat it as leftovers for a few days.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil
- 1 tablespoon minced lemongrass, white parts only (optional)
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 yellow onion, sliced thinly top to root
- 2 to 6 small hot chiles, chopped
- 1/4 cup Thai red curry paste
- 1 13-ounce can coconut milk
- 2 tablespoon fish sauce (optional)
- 1 pound diced, peeled potatoes
- 2 tablespoons sugar (palm sugar if you can get it)
- 1 cup pineapple chunks
- 1 pound duck or goose breasts, sliced thin
- Lime juice to taste
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
- Heat the peanut oil in a wok or a heavy saute pan over high heat. The moment it smokes, add the lemongrass, ginger and garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the onion and chiles stir-fry another minute or two, then mix in the curry paste. Stir-fry the curry paste until it begins to separate a little, about 2 minutes.
- Pour in the coconut milk and stir well to combine. Fill up the coconut milk can with water and pour that in, too. Add the fish sauce and the potatoes and simmer, covered, until the potatoes are almost tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- When the potatoes are just about tender, add the pineapple chunks and the sugar. Add salt or more fish sauce to taste. Cook the pineapple for a minute or two before adding in the sliced duck breast.
- The duck breast will release some juice in a minute or two. When it does, stir the curry well and add the cilantro and lime juice to taste. Turn off the heat and serve immediately over white rice.