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Reprinted from The Edge 2007.2008

Indian-Spiced Smoked Duck Dolmas with Mango Chutney Dipping Sauce

(recipe: Linda Lauby)

Indian-Spiced Duck Confit
1 4-5 lb. duck
1 lb. rendered duck fat or lard
8 garlic cloves, sliced lengthwise
8 dried red chili peppers
5 cardamom pods
2 T curry sea salt (or 1 t curry powder & 2 T sea salt or kosher salt)
2 whole cloves
2 bay leaves
1/2 t red chili powder
1/2 t thyme
1 t black peppercorns
1 piece star anise

1. Gently crush cardamom pods and discard shells, or use ½ t of cardamom seeds if whole spice is unavailable. Mix seeds with the last seven ingredients, using a mortar and pestle or food processor.
2. Cut duck in half and then into sections: wings, legs, thighs and back. Dry with paper towels. Place one layer of duck in a large bowl, sprinkle spice mixture over duck, along with half of the sliced garlic and four peppers. Rub the spice mixture into the duck, coating evenly. Repeat layer of duck, garlic, peppers and spices. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours.
3. Heat the fat in a large heavy kettle over medium-high heat and add duck pieces skin-side down. Brown lightly (add the neck, liver and gizzard if you wish), cover closely and simmer on the stovetop for 1 1/2 hours, until very tender. Unless you have a supply of rendered fat in your refrigerator, you will have to supplement with lard. The duck should be completely covered in fat when cooking. Remove duck from fat and allow to drain and cool at room temperature. Leftover fat can be strained and refrigerated.
4. When duck has cooled, discard the skin and bones, and shred the meat by hand. Refrigerate confit until ready to smoke.

Smoked Duck Confit
2 T tomato paste
1/3 cup muscat vinegar
2 t garam masala (or curry powder)
1 t red chili powder
duck confit

1. Prepare charcoal grill. If you have access to wood chips, toss a handful on the coals several minutes before smoking duck.
2. Heat first four ingredients in a saucepan, adjusting seasonings to taste. Mix with duck confit and transfer to a foil-lined shallow baking pan. Place the pan on a grill rack, cover the grill and smoke for about 10 to 15 minutes, until just heated through. You don’t need a searing hot grill for this, as you’re simply heating the ingredients.

smoked duck confit
½ cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
1 jar grape leaves

Mix warm smoked confit with pine nuts. Place 2-3 T on a grape leaf, fold in ends and roll tightly. Repeat with remaining confit and grape leaves. Serve with mango chutney dipping sauce.

Mango Chutney Dipping Sauce
2 ripe mangos, diced
3-4 T prepared mango chutney

Puree mangos and chutney in a food processor or blender, adding a little water if mixture is too thick.

Wine & Beer Picks: (courtesy Chip’s Wine & Beer Market)
Belle Glos Pinot Noir
Clark & Telephone, California

Nostradamus Belgian Brown Ale, Belgium

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