I know what you’re thinking. First she goes in with the Paleo pasta and now it’s paleoified food all over the place. It’s an outrage. I wouldn’t stand for it if I were you.
Anyway: this is essentially a paleo version of crispy duck pancakes. It takes a it of organising if you want to marinade properly (overnight is ideal) but apart from that is pretty straightforward. If you want to make life a bit more complicated for yourself then lots of people out there have insane ideas for what you can do to get crispy skin (I once attempted a recipe involving a hairdryer. Not worth it.) but personally I now just leave it in the oven and hope for the best…
The marinade here is also used as a sauce for the rolls at the end – some people seem to be against using marinade in this way but as far as I’m concerned, it’s really tasty (especially with the addition of a few duck juices during cooking) and it would be a waste not to. As long as it’s been thoroughly cooked after being in contact with raw meat (it is), you’ll be fine.
The same marinade works really well with pork – a few belly slices in the same mixture left in the fridge overnight and slow cooked the next day taste spectacular.
Ingredients serves two
- 2 duck legs
- 6-8 decent sized whole lettuce leaves
- 1 spring onion
- 1/2 a red pepper
- 1/4 cucumber
- Some toasted sesame seeds
- 1/2 an apple
For the marinade:
- 2inch long piece of fresh ginger, peeled
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp porcini mushroom powder (not essential but adds to the umami flavour – just stick some dried mushrooms in your blender)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 star anise
Grate the ginger and garlic, and mix with all other marinade ingredients. Cover the duck with the mixture and leave in the fridge for at least an hour, ideally overnight.
Preheat the oven to about 180C, and put the duck legs plus marinade into a covered ovenproof dish and into the hot oven for about an hour and 15 mins. Then take the cover off, pour off the remaining marinade into a separate bowl and turn the oven up to about 210C. Cook for a further 15 minutes to get the skin nice and crispy. Remove duck from oven and leave to cool for a a few minutes.
While you’re waiting, cut your veggies into thin matchsticks (like you’d normally get with your crispy duck pancakes). Slice or grate the apple – this gives is a bit of extra sweetness without piling on the sugar! When cool enough to handle, shred or slice the duck into bitesize pieces. Have a quick look at your leftover marinade – you’ll probably want to spoon off any excess duck fat and remove the cinnamon/star anise.
To assemble, first take your lettuce leaf. Add veg/apple on the bottom, then top with duck pieces. Finally top with a bit of the leftover marinade (it’s quite strong so don’t go too crazy) and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.