I love this time of year, my food gets much more adventurous due to having a little more free time and an over whelming desire to treat myself and my lovely wife! My take on a Thai Red Duck Curry with Pineapple is a huge part of these treats, it may sound difficult and look impressive but this dish is incredibly simple to make and if you are planning a dinner party over the Christmas period you can rustle this up really quickly and simply and amaze your guests with something that looks wonderful, tastes great… Naturally they will need to like spice though, this Duck Curry is HOT stuff!
You will notice I have called for Thai Red Curry Paste in this dish, you can of course use your favourite shop bought variety but I always make my own, click here for ingredients and method… Every trip I make to Budapest involves a trip to my favourite Asian store and ingredients for Thai Curry pastes are on the list. It freezes fabulously, I put the paste into silicon ice cube trays, which conveniently hold 1 tablespoon of curry paste and when frozen solid I just pop them out of the tray and place in a bag. Then when ever the need for a Thai style curry arises as in this duck curry I am ready to rock and roll.
I am usually one of those people who scoff at the use of pineapple in savoury dishes, in fact I firmly believe that a ‘Hawaii Pizza’ is a food crime that should be locked away in a cell and the key thrown away 😉 However in this duck curry pineapple seems to be the perfect sweet accompaniment to the fiercely hot sauce and the creamy nature of the coconut milk. It really does seem to be a match made in heaven, although you should definitely try and use fresh pineapple rather than tinned, but if you do use tinned try and get the stuff that is in natural juices rather than a syrup.
One thing I am working on at the moment is trying to put food on a plate in a way that looks all purdy and proper, whilst I am more than confident in the flavours of my food and even putting food in a bowl I often feel as though the food I put on a plate looks as though it has been thrown from one room at a plate in another room. This duck curry is part of that learning process and I am very happy with how it has worked and fearless stunt wifey was very impressed when I delivered this to the table, breaking this curry into its constituent parts really helps with the eating to. Allowing you to take little bits of the sweetness of the pineapple with some of the hot sauce, it also means I get to cook the duck just as I like it rather than having to cook it well done! As you can see I like my duck pink but I have added some notes as to the internal cooking temperatures to serve your duck as you like, of all the gadgets I have which in all fairness aint many my meat thermometer is my most treasured. It cost the equivalent of about 5 dollars and I would not be parted from it for all the tea in China, seriously treat your self this Christmas, they are invaluable!
This is my last recipe before the Christmas break and whilst I am a grumpy old git I would like to extend my best wishes to all of you who have visited my site over the last 8 months. When I started this little project I had no idea if any one would be interested in my food and what I had to say and I am overwhelmed at the comments, Tweets, Facebook likes and all the other wonders of the interwebby world that you have blessed me with. If I was that type of dude I would even say that I am choked, don’t worry, I’m not ;). However I am extremely grateful and look forward to sharing more recipes, even more nonsensical rambling and pictures in 2016!
Thai Red Duck Curry with Pineapple
This delicious and simple slightly deconstructed duck curry is full of the taste of Thai food and sweetened with pineapple.
2Duck Breasts.Ensure the skin is dry and score in a criss cross pattern with a sharp knife ensuring you do not pass through to the flesh.
6TbspRed Thai Curry PasteUse either shop bought or make your own... I have added a link to my recipe in my blurb, just look for the orange text to the left 🙂
150gThick Coconut Milk.
HandfulBasil Leaves.Around 30 leavesThai Basil is best but regular basil will work fine.
200gPineapple.1.5 cm dice.
Fry off the curry paste in a frying pan for 1 minute until it becomes fragrant.
Add in the Coconut milk and stir and add in 100g of the fresh pineapple and cook for 5 minutes on a low heat.
Blitz this sauce in a blender and set aside whilst you cook your duck.
Heat a dry sauce pan over a high heat and when hot place in your duck skin side down after you have seasoned with salt and pepper.
Add the remaining 100g of pineapple around the duck.
It is important that you do not mess with the duck too much whilst it is cooking on the skin side but ensure you occasionally turn the pineapple cubes to prevent them from burning.
When your duck skin is crisp and golden as my pictures above flip the duck and allow it to finish cooking on the flesh side.
It is difficult to say how long to cook a duck breast for, we all have different tastes and duck breasts are all different sizes. I would recommend using a meat thermometer and use the guide in my notes below to ascertain how you would like your duck cooked.
When your duck is cooked set aside and allow it to rest for at least 5 minutes.
No finish off your sauce, bring it to a simmer and add in almost all of the basil and stir.
Add a little basil to the pineapple cubes and stir and then plate.
I like to serve this with some plainly boiled rice and add the sauce on the side and dot the plate with the fried pineapple cubes.
Place your meat thermometer into the thickest part of the duck breast and take the reading and cook your duck the way you like it 🙂 Rare: 57°C Medium: 62°C Well Done: 67°C
Home Made Thai Red Curry Paste
15 Dried Red Chili
Soak the chilis in cold water for 15 minutes.
1.5 Tbsp Coriander Seeds
1 Tbsp Cumin Seeds
0.5 Tbsp Pepper Corns
Toast the seeds and pepper off in a dry pan for about 1 minute and then grind in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar.
1 Tsp Coarse Sea Salt.
50g Fresh Ginger or even better Galangal if you can get it, peeled and roughly chopped.
3 pieces of Lemon Grass, remove the outer leaves and coarsely chop.
10 Cloves of Garlic, peeled.
150g Shallot or Onion, peeled and roughly chopped.
Zest of 1 Un-Waxed Lime
1 Tbsp Shrimp Paste
25g Coriander stems, keep the leaves for something else.
Remove the tops of the chilis then add all of the ingredients including the spice mix to a blender then blitz into a fine paste. This will keep in the fridge for a few weeks however it freezes wonderfully and will keep for months!
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