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Thursday, December 25

Chinese-style roasted duck

Duck, whole
3 pounds
Water, boiling

2 teaspoons
Peppercorns (Szechuan, if available)
1 ½ teaspoons
Bean sauce, ground
2 tablespoons
Soy sauce, light
2 tablespoons
Rice wine
1 tablespoon
2 teaspoons
Cilantro sprigs
1/3 cup +
Vegetable oil
1 teaspoon
Garlic, smashed
5 cloves
3 slices
Scallions, whole
  1. Remove any fat pockets from the duck, and rub it all over with salt. 
  2. Place the duck on a rack in a roasting pan, and slowly pour the boiling water over the skin. 
  3. Air-dry the duck 3 hours in a breezy winter's COLD room under a fan, turning once, until the skin feels dry to the touch. Never do this on a hot day or in a heated room. 
  4. In a small skillet over medium heat, roast the peppercorns, stirring constantly, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until fragrant and begin to smoke. 
  5. Place in a mortar, and crush until ground; set aside. 
  6. In a small bowl, combine the bean sauce, soy sauce, rice wine, sugar, roasted pepper, and cilantro sprigs. 
  7. Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking. 
  8. Add the oil, garlic, ginger, and scallions, and stir-fry 10 seconds. 
  9. Add the soy sauce mixture, and bring to a boil. 
  10. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 5 minutes. 
  11. Remove from heat, uncover, and cool completely. 
  12. Preheat to 425°F; ensure a rack is in the middle. 
  13. Add boiling water to the pan to a depth of ½-inch. 
  14. Carefully spoon the scallion soy mixture into the cavity. 
  15. Close the cavity with a bamboo skewer, weaving the two sides of side together. 
  16. Finish by tucking the tail end in, place on rack breast side up. 
  17. Place the duck in the oven, and roast 20 minutes. 
  18. Reduce to 325°F, and roast 20 minutes more, monitor and cover any skin with foil that is browning too quickly. 
  19. Using several thicken of paper towels, turn the duck over, and roast 20 minutes more. 
  20. Increase to 425°F, and roast 12 to 15 minutes more, or until a meat thermometer registers 170°F. 
  21. Carefully transfer to a platter; remove the skewer and gently pour the juices out of the duck. 
  22. Allow to rest 15 minutes, removing any fat from the juice. 
  23. Cut and disjoint the duck into serving pieces, reserving the juices. 
  24. Garnish with cilantro, and serve immediately.

Friday, December 5

Coconut-ginger chicken

Pepper, freshly ground
½ teaspoon
Cumin, ground
1 teaspoon
Coriander, ground
1 teaspoon
Turmeric, ground
1 ½ teaspoons
Salt, kosher
1 teaspoon
Garlic, peeled
8 cloves
Ginger, peeled
60 grams
Onion, chopped
½ large
Olive oil
1 tablespoon
Butter, unsalted
2 tablespoons
Chicken thighs, boneless, skinless, cut into four pieces
2 ½ pounds
Coconut milk, cream separated if possible
2 cans
2 tablespoons
Baby corn cobs, drained
1 can
1 cup
  1. Combine the pepper, cumin, coriander, turmeric, and salt; set aside. 
  2. In a food processor, combine the garlic, ginger, and onion; process into a paste. 
  3. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter with oil. 
  4. Add the purée, and cook for 5 to 6 minutes. 
  5. Stir in the seasonings, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly. 
  6. Move the vegetables to the edges of the pan, and add the chicken to the center; brown lightly on all sides, stirring to coat the chicken well. 
  7. Transfer to the slow cooker pot. 
  8. Reserving the coconut cream, about 1 cup, pour the coconut milk over the chicken. 
  9. Add the corn. 
  10. Cook on LOW of 4 hours. 
  11. Whisk cornstarch with the coconut cream until smooth; add to the chicken, stirring well. 
  12. Add peas, and cook for another 30 minutes to an hour, until the chicken is cooked and the vegetables are hot.

Wednesday, December 3

Slow-cooked beef ragu

Onion, sliced
1 large
Garlic, smashed
8 cloves
Rosemary, chopped
3 tablespoons
Beef chuck roast
2 ½ pounds
Salt, kosher
1 teaspoon
Pepper, freshly ground
1 teaspoon
Beef broth
2 cups
Wine, red
¼ cup
Tomato paste
6 ounces
Tomatoes, diced
15 ounces
Pappardelle pasta, cooked

Parmesan, grated
½ cup
  1. Add the onions to the slow cooker pot, followed by the garlic and rosemary. 
  2. Season the beef with the salt and pepper, and place in the pot. 
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the broth, wine, and tomato paste; pour over beef. 
  4. Add the tomatoes. 
  5. Cover, and cook on High for 6 to 8 hours. 
  6. Using a fork, flake the meat apart into the sauce. 
  7. Ladle over pasta, and serve under a sprinkling of cheese.