Tonton Jean's duck marinade—which can be used on other fowl such as goose, guinea hen, or even chicken—is a perfect blend of sweet and savory, typical of my uncle’s heritage, yet new to mine.
- 16 garlic cloves
- 8 shallots
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon five-spice mix (recipe follows)
- 6 tablespoons fish sauce
- 6 tablespoons sherry or Chinese rice wine
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 double Muscovy (or magret) duck breasts, cut into halves
1. Combine the garlic, shallots, sugar, five-spice mix, fish sauce, and sherry in a blender or food processor; blend to a smooth paste.
2. With a sharp knife, cut the skin side of the duck breast in a criss-cross pattern (this will facilitate the release of fat while cooking). In a plastic bag, combine the duck with the marinade and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
3. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Heat the vegetable oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Remove the duck from the marinade and drain well. Place the duck in the hot pan, skin side down, and cook 5 minutes; turn once and finish in the oven, about 5 more minutes for medium-rare.
This Vietnamese spice mix is delicious as a rub on poultry or firm-fleshed fish. It can also be used in marinades.
Makes about 1/3 cup
Blend the spices well and store in an airtight container.
Restaurateur and Senegalese native Pierre Thiam brings the once little-known cuisine of Senegal to a wider audience, introducing us to a cuisine that is at once familiar and exotic, down-home and elegant.Buy it now
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