Beer-Braised Duck Tacos with Cilantro Sauce
Who will win the Super Bowl XLIX? I say Go, Ducks! No, that’s not being facetious; I’m a huge fan of the Super Bowl… parties, that is. Any opportunity to make and eat a lot of food with a lot of people is my kind of game. It doesn’t matter who plays, who wins, or who cries the loudest. But it does matter that the food is good, and plentiful. So this year I’m bringing the tacos, with a delectable duck filling.
While duck is a waterfowl that certainly shares more similarities with a seahawk than a New England colonial, that’s not the reason why I chose this poultry to put in a taco. It’s because I had a whole duck that I plan to enjoy every last part of fully. I can’t recommend enough buying a whole duck (ditto for a whole chicken), because you’ll have so many delicious meals to make with it–and it’s more economical, too. With a whole duck, simply remove the breasts and sear them skin side-down one night, until golden brown on the bottom and medium-rare, like a juicy steak. It’s better than a steak, actually.
Then, remove the legs and wings, and you could either confit them in true French fashion (by letting sit in salt and herbs overnight and slowly roasting them in a pool of fat). Or you could braise them as I did with the rest of the picked-apart carcass. Yes, this taco filling recipe was made from just the scraps of meat from the back and bones that were left after the breasts, legs, thighs, and wings were removed. Even the extra pieces of skin can be cut to squares and slowly roasted to become duck skin cracklins. (They’re great for placing on your tacos as crunchy toppings, too.)