Duck 2-for-1: Whole Roasted and Panang Curry with Homemade Red Curry Paste

This is Blendtec week! All of our posts this week will feature something we’ve done with our new blender. Don’t have a high speed blender and want one? Enter to win your own Blendtec Designer Series with Wildside and Twister Jar on Monday’s post. Even if you don’t acquire one, we hope these posts are still helpful for you!

If you ever want to impress someone in a really easy way, buy a duck. Seriously, ducks are reasonably available yet not often served by people. They are extremely fatty and delicious. Plus, if you can cook a chicken, you can cook a duck. Stacy, despite years of refusing to try duck after growing up as a vegetarian, is now a great fan of duck. She particularly loves a dish served by our local Thai restaurant, which serves it in an awesome red curry and coconut sauce.

Before you can jump into making that amazing curry, which I’m super proud to have recreated, there’s a few steps you must do first. So, obviously, get yourself a duck. We got ours from Wegman’s; it wasn’t the ideal pastured animal we usually buy – but it was easy to find one that had a better life than Tyson’s offers. We also found meaty soup bones from The Organic Butcher of McLean that were phenomenal and allowed us to skip to the 2nd recipe.  Up to you – but, if you get a whole duck you’ll need to start by roasting it. Then your leftovers will be simply delicious!

Whole Roast Duck with Asian Orange Sauce by PaleoParents

Whole Roasted Duck with Asian-inspired Orange Sauce

Ingredients

Duck
5 lbs. whole duck, neck and gizzards removed
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp mace
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp white pepper
2 TBSP coconut aminos
1 TBSP honey
1 orange, halved
1 head of garlic, cut in half
1 onion, quartered

Sauce
6 oranges, juiced
1 TBSP orange zest
1/2 C honey
1 C stock (homemade preferred)
2 TBSP arrowroot powder
1 tsp of spice mixture*

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, combine spices.
  2. Add honey and coconut aminos and whisk to combine. *Reserve 1 tsp of this spice mixture for the sauce.
  3. Pat the outside of duck dry with a towel. Rub dry skin with the spice paste.
  4. Fill the duck cavity with oranges, onions and garlic.
  5. Roast at 500 degrees for 30 minutes, then turn down to 300 and roast for an additional 30 minutes. If you have a roasting pan with a shelf that elevates the duck that will be best, so the underside skin can also crisp. You can choose to tie the legs back, but since we adults like medium duck breast and the kids like medium well to well leg meat, leaving them free helped achieve this balance.
  6. While the duck is roasting, whisk together the sauce. First – orange juice, zest, honey and stock in a small pot at medium-high temperature.
  7. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium-low. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
  8. In a small bowl, combine the arrowroot with a small portion and whisk to smooth – this helps eliminates a lumpy sauce (you could also puree once done, which we clearly forgot in our haste to eat this delicious bird).
  9. Pour arrowroot mixture into sauce and whisk to incorporate.
  10. Carve duck and serve sauce over slices of breast.

Serves 4 if you want leftovers.

Slightly spicy, slightly sweet, totally ducky! Truly, you will never have a more moist bird than a duck. If you’re not trying this, you’re missing out! We ended up serving this with a “Lo Mein” style kelp noodle side dish, by request from the boys.

But, since ducks are some 25% bigger than chickens, you’ll likely have leftovers. When that happens, you get make my favorite leftover recreation: curry. See another favorite example, Turkey Thai Basil.

Now normally when we share curry recipes (like in Eat Like a Dinosaur), I’ll tell you to buy curry paste like this or, better, this. But since we’re doing Blendtec Week, why don’t I teach you how to make it instead? Seriously, once you make real curry paste with your own spices, you’ll never go back! I’m going to share a very Western grocery store friendly recipe with you and hopefully you’ll love it too!

Homemade Red Curry Paste by PaleoParents

Panang Duck Curry with Homemade Curry Paste

Ingredients
Curry paste – feel free to double or tripple this and keep it in your fridge or freezer
3-7 dried chilis (Don’t be crazy. Don’t get these unless you have a death wish. Don’t even get these unless you are a masochist. These will make a very spicy and tasty curry that will leave you alive at the end. If you are someone who is not into spice, use fewer chilies, please! Stacy and I used 5 and found it to be very spicy!)
3 shallots, roughly chopped
4 cloves of garlic
1 TBSP fresh ginger, sliced (in Thailand, they would use Galangal instead)
1 stalk of lemongrass, chopped (harder to come by, but really irreplaceable – also freezes very well if you get a big pack!)
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp lime zest (for authentic Thai curry use kaffir lime instead)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp anchovy paste (easily found in most grocery stores for making Caesar salad. Don’t use the Thai traditional ingredient shrimp paste, as it is usually full of soy, soy sauce and wheat. I suppose you could get dried shrimp and puree them with olive oil and coconut aminos)
1 tsp white peppercorns

Curry
2 C shredded duck (or any meat, really), pre-cooked
1 can of full fat coconut milk
2 TBSP lard or coconut oil
1/2 C onion, diced
1/2 C carrots, sliced
1 TBSP fish sauce (we recommend Red Boat, but make sure yours doesn’t have hydrogenated wheat protein)
1/4 C Thai basil (we don’t recommend it, but you could substitute traditional sweet basil if you can’t find it)
1 batch of the above curry paste
Optional: a few kaffir lime leaves, diced finely (harder to come by, but definitely add the Panang flavor)

  1. In a blender or food processor, combine all the curry paste ingredient and blend until smooth.
  2. In a large skillet, melt lard over medium heat.
  3. Add carrots and onions and saute for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add curry paste and coconut milk (we actually made our own, following the Paleo Mom’s recipe) and simmer for ten minutes.
  5. Add fish sauce and Thai basil and stir until basil leaves wilt – remove from heat and serve over cauliflower rice (recipe is in Eat Like a Dinosaur)

Serves 2, and probably way too spicy for kids.

Panang Duck by PaleoParents

This curry is my favorite Thai dish and it tastes just like the best Panang curry you’d normally pick up the phone to order! As mentioned a few times before, I trained with the best Thai chef (she beat Bobby Flay in Pad Thai Throwdown) – so, you’re learning from the best here. I implore you, just try doing this just once! It’ll make a batch you can use again and again and you’ll never forget the wonderful, intense flavor!

p.s. If you’re thinking of making broth as the leftovers from those bones, might we suggest a stew instead? Duck is very rich and fatty, so it’s difficult to execute a good broth. Stews, however, will be wonderful!

About Matthew

Matthew McCarry has written 224 post in this blog.

Matt is the husband of Stacy and somehow manages to contribute to this blog in between taking care of three children, producing the Paleo View Podcast and cooking most of the food featured here.

  • nuttmegs17

    Can’t wait to try both of these!

  • Mona

    Making this tonight and have a few questions. 1. How much orange juice? My oranges were really big so I only juiced 4 and it was over a cup. 2. When do you add the spice to the sauce? 3. Do you cover it ? I just looked and it still has 13 minutes and it is REALLY dark.

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      Sorry it took so long to get to this, as we were out of town most of the weekend. How did your duck turn out?