Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Duck affair

I went over to my friends house last week to cook, an old friend who I hadn't seen for years actually, but a friend who joined me when a group of us dined at Billy Kwong in Surry Hills.

We were so impressed with the duck dished served, with a rich plum sauce, that we decided to try to recreate it, the only difference was that our duck would not be deep fried (something I have found out since and obviously contributes to the interesting texture and absolutely amazing flavour).

I remember having seen the recipe in a Jamie Oliver Cookbook and it very similar to Billy Kwong so the recipe I have used is an adapted version of his.

First thing was first, we needed to find duck breasts. If I had time I would have gone to a suburb where there are a lot of Asian butchers as I know their duck would be fresh and at a good price as it is so highly demanded, but I was too busy at work to leave early so had t settle for the local shopping centre, Broadway, which has an ok butcher inside.

I did find duck breast, and they weren't frozen so that was exciting. However, the price did not excite me at all. It ended up being close to $50/kg, but to try something new, I don't mind paying for it.

Now duck is perfectly complimented with fruity sauces, and some that I have tried include fruits such as plum, orange, pomegranate, grape, papaya (for Thai dishes), but it can really be pared with any fruit, just make sure the fruit is in season.

This is something we found out that day, being May, Plums are not in season. Disappointment overwhelmed us, but we weren't disheartened and chose another fruit which we both enjoyed but some may think not sweet enough. Red Ruby Grapefruit. Sweeter than the regular grapefruit, this citrus fruit can be sour at times, but can also be sweet in peak season, which falls at the end of summer, early Autumn, well I have found in Sydney.

Ok, fruit. Check. Next ingredients to go in this sauce include palm sugar, soy sauce, chilli, cinnamon quills and star anise. It is a simple dish that you pretty much throw everything into a oven proof pot and then slow cook for at least 2hrs.

Once cooked we plated and tasted. It is quite interesting to see how different people's taste buds react. I personally thought it tasted too salty and needed more sugar to offset the bitterness of the fruit, which didn't add as much sweetness as plums would. However my friend thought it was not salty enough and needed more salt to battle this bitterness.

I suppose it is something that we would not agree on as everyone's tastes are different, but we still agreed it tasted really good, thick, plump, tender flesh with the spices, chilli and (bitterness) made it an enjoyable dish.

Duck with Red Ruby Grapefruit


2 large duck breasts
2 tbsps soy sauce
3 spoonfulls five spice
large handful of star anise
2 cinnamon quills
1 tbsp EVOO
1 small chilli chopped (keep seeds to give it a bit of a kick)
2 large Red Ruby Grapefruits, skin on, segmented
3 tbsp Palm Sugar


1. Put all ingredients into an ovenproof pot and coat duck well.
2. Cover and marinate overnight.
3. When read to cook, preheat oven to 160 degrees and cook for 2 hours.
4. Serve and enjoy : )


Peter G said...

Patricia, I'm often at Broadway when I'm in town! That butcher's is good but very $$$ ( I found this out when I had to take out a "mortgage" to buy some lamb!...LOL). I think you guys did well with the experimenting...I don't think I've tried grapefruit with poultry before. Looks great!

---trish--- said...

Haha yes it is but I must admit it was really good meat, excellent quality and fresh.

Yes it was an interesting mix as I have never tried it before but it is one of my favourite fruits and maybe I am just used to the bitterness as I have it most mornings for breakfast.

SydneyCider said...

Hey Trish

When is the new website coming? Can't wait.

Start spreading the word about the secret dinner I'm holding. I've already put you down as yes. Do you want to help with the cooking? I need a baker for some top notch bread...

Ivy said...

I've never eaten duck before and didn't know that it is so expensive but we can indulge once in a while. The use of grapefruit sounds very interesting in the recipe.

Anonymous said...

Wow, very interesting! I like your chocolate post too--I made a couple of interesting Chocolate dishes at my new Italian blog, come check it out:


Helen (AugustusGloop) said...

Hi Trish, just letting you know I've added your blog to the complete list of Sydney Food Blogs on my site. Hope you return from your brief hiatus :)

vincent said...


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---trish--- said...

Thanks John, I tried to log onto your website but it didn't work.....can you send me the link of one of your posts?

Helen I am really thankful for you doing that, what a great idea to compile them all.

Vincent I have also signed up and hope to get a lot of new readers to my blog. Thanks

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