Sunday, 7 October 2012

Duck and kiwi Thai curry

Sorry for the absence, I disappeared for a week to sunny Cyprus. The holiday itself was great fun, although the destination left a lot to be desired (over run with cats, run down shops, terrible food). On the plus side I've come back tanned and thinner!

For the week I was away, I mostly ate plain chicken and chips. Apparently in Limassol, if you order "chicken souvlaki", what you have actually ordered is overcooked chicken on a skewer, with a big side of fries. So, when I did finally get back, I was desperate for some cooking.

As always, the Times proved to be an inspiration, with an unusual recipe for "Duck and kiwi thai green curry" (original recipe here).

The finished dish, it tastes better than it looks!

It was a real hit with my housemate and I, and if it wasn't for the fact duck is so expensive it would be added to be regular meal rota. The kiwi adds a sour tang to the dish, which complements the fatty duck. It tastes more savoury than a usual thai curry too, although that could have been because I was a little heavy on the fish sauce.

2 shallots, about 125g
1 garlic clove
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 Gressingham duck breasts
1 tbsp Thai green curry paste
1 tbsp Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
160ml can coconut cream
250ml chicken stock or cube and water
1 lemongrass stalk
2 kaffir lime leaves
50g coriander
200g fine French beans
3 firm kiwi fruit
1 lime
Rice or rice noodles to serve
Chop the shallots and crush the garlic, then add to a frying pan and cook until soft. Keep stirring to make sure the garlic doesn't burn. 
Meanwhile, skin the duck and slice into thick strips, across the grain. Add to the frying pan and brown the duck on all sides.
Next, add the curry paste, fish sauce and a dollop of coconut cream. Stir thoroughly to make a thick sauce. Then, bash the lemongrass to crush the root end (but keep in one piece) and add to the pan. Also add the rest of the coconut cream, stock and lime leaves.

Chop some coriander and add to the pan. Turn the heat on the pan down so that the mixture is simmering gently. The pan can be left for about 25 minutes now while the sauce reduces. Give it the occasional stir, but it should be fine.
Top and tail the beans, then halve them. Peel the kiwi and chop into chunky pieces. Add the beans to the mix and cook for 5 minutes, then add the kiwi and cook for another minute or two to warm through.
Add the lime juice to the curry (to your taste), along with salt and maybe a little sugar if, like me, you were a bit liberal with the fish sauce.
Chop a red chilli (if you have one to hand), and use as a garnish, along with some coriander leaves. I served it with plain basmati rice and it was delicious. I think next time I would serve it alongside a Vietnamese papaya salad, to make the most of the sweet / sour / savoury mixture.

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