So, how were your weekends readers? I spent mine doing the usual activities; such as eating, drinking, baking and writing. Oh, and I also ran the Race for Life (you can still sponsor me here if you’re feeling generous). After all of that strenuous activity I decided I needed some quality ‘me’ time. So, I decided to relax in the best way I knew how. By shoving a beer can up a duck’s arse.
OK. So I know what you’re thinking; “what kind of sick woman gets her kicks by ramming pieces of tin up unsuspecting bird’s rear ends?” Well, I can confirm that no (live) poultry was harmed in this experiment (although I was tempted to wave my beer-can-compromised-duck at our next door neighbour’s chickens as a warning that this is what would happen to them if they didn’t shut up). Instead, I was conducting my usual Sunday afternoon trick of using every cooking implement in our house by making this Peking Duck recipe that I found over at Serious Eats. I’ve long been a fan of their ‘Food Lab’ column (even if it can be totally and utterly bonkers at times) which shows you how to make brilliant restaurant style classics via the use of a few kitchen hacks, and I’ve yet to make a recipe from there which hasn’t resulted in the creation of something ridiculously delicious.
I would recommend that anyone and everyone makes their Peking Duck recipe. While the skin of the bird didn’t turn out quite as crispy as I would have liked, and I somehow managed to get honey everywhere (don’t drink and marinade kids!) it wasn’t a bad first attempt for someone who had never cooked duck before. Mr. Cay and I spent a very happy Sunday evening feasting like kings on poultry and pancakes while watching England limp out of the football on penalties.
On Monday night, grumpy and full of a cold/hayfever hybrid that just will not quit, I decided to use the leftovers to create some quality comfort food – a Duck Hash. I’m a huge fan of hashes, mainly because they’re simple, tasty and a great way to use up all of those Sunday dinner remnants. First, I cooked some waxy potatoes in a few pints of chicken stock, which imbued them with a nice savoury flavour. Then I fried those, a sliced onion and a handful of shrivelled cherry tomatoes which I found at the back of my fridge in some leftover duck fat until they turned brown and crispy. Topped with some shredded leftover duck and a fried egg and it was a Monday night tea fit for a Queen – as well as a fitting end for a fowl which had been roasted in a most ungracious manner.
DUCK HASH (Serves Two)
You will need:
- 400g waxy potatoes
- Two pints of chicken stock
- One onion, sliced thinly
- A large handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 250g shredded cooked duck breast, or the meat from two cooked duck legs
- 3 tbsp duck fat (or olive oil if you don’t have any duck fat handy)
- 2 duck eggs
- A good dash of Tabasco sauce
- Salt and Pepper to season
- First, slice your potatoes in two, and boil them in the stock for around five minutes (they should still feel quite firm when you stick your knife in them to see if they’re cooked).
- Drain the potatoes and leave them to cool (you can do this the night before if you wish). When you’re ready to use them, chop them into even-sized chunks.
- Heat your duck fat in a large frying pan. Sauté the onions until they become translucent, then add the potatoes. Cooked for five-ten minutes until they begin to turn brown and crispy. Add the chopped tomatoes, shredded duck and salt and pepper and cook for another two minutes. Flatten the mixture down with your spatula while it’s cooking so it becomes one huge greasy, crispy mass.
- Once the hash has cooked, and turned brown and crispy around the edges, take it off the heat. Fry the duck eggs in another frying pan until they’re just the way you like them (I prefer them sunny side up with a nice runny yolk).
- Divide the hash evenly between two plates and top with the fried eggs. Sprinkle liberally with the Tabasco sauce and eat immediately (this goes well with a big mug of tea and lots of bread to mop up the excess grease and egg yolk).