Kalua Ducklings with Mango-Tomato Relish and Chili Pepper Cream
Traditional kalua, or ground-roasted meat, inspired this dish. The slow braising of the duck — combined with its spiciness, the sweetness of the mango, the peppery flavor of the arugula, and the crunch of the phyllo — give it excitement.
- Thighs and legs of 2 ducklings
- Hawaiian or kosher salt to taste
- Shiitake Mushrooms - 2 cups, sliced, stemmed
- Carrots - 1 cup, finely diced, peeled
- Celery - 1 cup, finely diced
- Green Onions - 1 cup, chopped, including some green tops
- Garlic - 2 teaspoons, minced
- Fresh Ginger - 2 teaspoons, minced
- Hoisin sauce - 1/2
- Japanese plum sauce - 1/2 cup
- Sichuan chili sauce - 1/2 cup
- Plum Wine - 1 cup
- Fresh Thyme - 1/2 teaspoon, minced
- Duck or Chicken stock - 8 cups
- Chinese five-spice powder - 3/4 teaspoon
- Star anise pods - 4
- Mango-Tomato Relish
- Mango - 1, peeled, cut from the pit and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- Tomatoes - 2, peeled, seeded, and cut into strips
- Maui or other sweet white onion - 1, cut into very thin slices
- Fresh Cilantro - 1 tablespoon, minced
- Balsamic Vinegar - 1 tablespoon
- Olive Oil - 2 tablespoons
- Lime Juice - 1 lime
- Pinch of salt
- Chili Cream
- Green Bell Pepper - 1 large, roasted, peeled, and seeded
- Sour Cream - 1 cup
- Sambal Olek - 1 teaspoon sambal olek
- Lime Juice - 1 lime
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Phyllo Dough - 4 sheets
- Unsalted Butter - 1/4 cup
- Arugula - 2 cups, stemmed
- Walnut Oil - 1/4 cup
- Raspberry Vinegar - 2 tablespoons
- Rosemary Sprigs - 4, fresh
To prepare the duck: Season the duck with the salt. In a dry large saute pan or skillet over high heat, sear the duck, skin-side down, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until very well browned. Remove the duck and drain the fat from the pan, leaving a light skim. Add the mushrooms, carrots, celery, and green onions to the pan and saute for 5 to 6 minutes, or until they are browned. Add the garlic and ginger. Return the duck to the pan and spoon the vegetables, hoisin, plum, and chili sauces and wine over the duck, coating it heavily. Add the thyme, duck or chicken stock, five-spice powder, and star anise pods. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 1-1/2 hours, or until the meet is falling from the bone. Remove and shred the duck meat.
To make the relish: Combine all the ingredients and toss. Let sit at room temperature.
To make the chili cream: In a blender or food processor, puree the roasted pepper. In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients and whisk together. Refrigerate.
To make the phyllo cups: Preheat the oven to 300 F. Cut twelve 6-inch squares out of the phyllo dough. Grease large muffin cups with a small amount of butter. Press each square into a cup. The phyllo will rise above the rim of the cup. Make 3 layers in each cup, with a dot of butter between each layer. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until browned. Set aside and let cool.
To serve: Toss the arugula with the oil and vinegar. Place one-fourth of the arugula in each phyllo cup and place the cups on 4 serving plates. Add one-fourth of the shredded duck to each. Top with mango relish. Drizzle chili cream around the plates and over the top of the relish. Garnish with sprigs of rosemary.