Duck and Pineapple Thai Red Curry
In Thailand a red curry is often made with duck, the rich fattiness of the duck goes so well with the equally rich but creamy coconut sauce, the heat of chilli, the fragrance of herbs such as the lemongrass and galangal. I don’t often cook duck on a weekly basis, but when I do it would be for an occasion such as a dinner party or home date night!
It is easiest to cook the duck separately to the sauce rather than in the sauce as many of my recipes instruct. This will give you time to prepare the sauce in advance which makes it great for a dinner party as you wouldn’t want to spend all your time in the kitchen immediately before serving the meal. Duck and pineapple is a fantastic flavour combo, cooking with pineapple are common in Thai cuisine and adding chunks to this dish will lift the flavours even further.
How to Cook Duck Thai Red Curry
Cooking duck breast is simple, firstly you will have to score the skin, this will make it easier for the natural fat to come out. I prefer to pan-fry my duck but you could also fry skin-side down and then finish it off in the oven too. When pan-frying I would recommend not to add any oil as the duck fat will melt away and it will begin to fry in its own oils.
This recipe starts with cooking the protein as it will need time to rest. In a non-stick pan with no oil, place the duck breast skin-side down and cook for 8 minutes on medium heat. Or until the skin is crisp and brown. Then turn over and cook until desired temperature (med-rare/medium/well-done). Take the duck off the heat and leave to rest until ready to slice.
In the meantime, prepare the pak choi by cutting in half lengthways and cleaning in between the leave. Prepare the pineapple by cutting away the skin and cutting out its core. Then cut into bite-size chunks. Once the vegetable preparation is complete, it’s time to work on the delicious Thai curry sauce! Heat oil in a saucepan or wok over medium-high heat (I like to use coconut oil) and fry the Thai red curry paste for at least 2 minutes to build a beautiful amora.
Add the thick creamy layer of coconut milk to the wok with fish sauce and palm sugar. Blend well together and bring to a light boil and simmer for about 5 minutes to allow all the oils to rise to the surface. In a separate pan, boil or steam pak choi until cooked and set to one side. Don't forget to check on the duck!
Now let’s see how the sauce is coming along, once the oils have appeared on the surface, add a splash of water to the curry sauce with the slices of pineapple. Simmer the sauce until the pineapple is soft - around 5 minutes. Make sure the duck breast is well-rested before slicing and try not to slice until it's time to serve. Enjoy!
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