Thursday, May 5, 2011

Happy Cinco de Mayo - Celebrate with Duck Carnitas!

It started with this recipe.

When I saw Rick Bayless do Duck Carnitas on his PBS show, my immediate cry was "I Want To Go To There!" ala Liz Lemon.

And boy, do you want to go to there too.

I did play around with the recipe a bit... I used a single whole duck (I find a whole duck usually feeds about 3 people).  If I wanted more meat,  I'd probably throw in a couple of extra duck legs with the whole duck.

I skipped the pork fat and went with a whole duck instead.  You can get a LOT of fat out of a whole duck, and frankly, with this wheat allergy thing, I was a bit uncomfortable trying to buy pork fat at the market.  I know they have it... they make their own pork carnitas on the weekend.  But I'm just paranoid that there could have been some wheat contamination I didn't know about.  Easier to just do my own whole duck and skip the pork fat.

On Tuesday night I quarted the duck and seasoned it with oregano, half the salt that is listed in the recipe, and some pepper.  Last night, I threw all the duck parts into the slow cooker, along with a handful of garlic cloves, set it to low, and let it cook overnight.

This morning, I fished out the duck parts and drained the liquid into another container, then stashed it all in the fridge.

Got home from work, then as carefully as I could, I peeled off the skin, and then pulled the meat apart into large chunks.  Then the magic really started.

You throw the skin into a skillet with a little duck fat, and let that crisp up.

Oh yeah... that is what I am talking about....

I had to drain off even more duck fat that rendered out of the skin, and then I tossed in the shredded meat and cooked that until it got all nice & brown & crispy on the edges....

Then it is just a matter of putting it on some corn tortillas with your favorite toppings (I went with some queso fresco, green taco sauce and some pickled shallot).


Really.... oh so very good.

Even better when washed down with a margarita.

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