April 13, 2014
Duck Noodles are delicious. But you can already tell that, just from the name: Duck Noodles.
This is partly a recipe and partly a serving suggestion. You probably already know how to stir fry some vegetables and noodles, and your selection of both might vary from mine (although I must put in a vote for both baby corn - fresh, if you can get it - and snow peas, which go so beautifully with the duck). But, at the end of the day, make the noodles how you like best, and top them with this tasty, tasty duck.
Pan Seared Duck Breast for Duck Noodles
350 grams duck breast (skin on)
3 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon chile oil (optional)
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon finely grated ginger (grating from frozen is easiest)
1 clove of garlic, sliced
2 star anise stars
Combine everything but the duck into a small dish (just large enough to fit the liquid and the duck breast (which will go in later), and stir well to combine, making sure that the honey is all dissolved.
Trim any straggly bits from the duck breast (if necessary) and, using a very sharp knife, cross-hatch the skin (that is, make long, shallow cuts diagonally along the whole length of the skin, and the turn the knife approximately 90 degrees and repeat, so that you end up with diamond-shapes over the whole surface). The closer the cuts are to each other, the better the fat will render during the cooking phase. Be sure when you are cutting to cut only through the skin and fat, and not into the duck meat itself, or the meat may dry out a little as it cooks. It is easiest to do when the duck is very cold, because the fat stays firm as you cut. When the whole surface of the skin has been cross-hatched, place the duck skin-side up in the marinade, and let sit for about 4 - 6 hours. Ideally, the liquid will not cover the skin, but don't worry if it does.
When you are ready to start cooking, prepare all of your mise en place for the noodles and vegetables, so that they are ready to go. Preheat your oven to 400 F, and preheat a steel or cast iron skillet until very hot.
Remove the duck from the marinade, and pat dry, especially the skin. Sprinkle the skin with a little coarse salt, and place skin-side down in the dry, very hot pan. Immediately turn the heat down to medium, and do not touch the duck again for at least five minutes.
If the skin is now golden brown and crispy all the way through (the edges may get a bit darker, especially if they got marinade on them), remove it from the pan. If the skin is not yet ready, wait another minute or two, peeking as necessary. Drain the excess fat from the skillet (reserve it for other cooking purposes) and return the duck breast to the pan, skin-side-up. Place it in the preheated oven and roast until the desired doneness - 10 minutes for very rare, 15 for rosy medium-rare (preferred). Remove from the oven, and transfer the duck to a cutting board to rest before you slice it.
While the duck is in the oven, and then resting, finish preparing your stir fry with the vegetables and the noodles. A spoonful of the reserved duck fat in the stir fry accentuates the duck flavour in the final dish. You can also use some of the marinade from the duck in the stir fry, but be sure to remove the star anise.
Arrange the finished noodles and vegetables on a large serving platter (or bowl), and then thinly slice the duck breast and lay it across the top. Garnish with thinly sliced green onion and red chiles.