For a while now my Trinidadian friend S. has been promising (or threatening) to make a duck curry for us. The plan was set we just needed to wait for the fresh ducks to arrive. And that they did a few weeks ago, but sadly scheduling issues ensued and I had to freeze the little duckie while we waited (I’m generally very against frozen meat).
S. told me that in Trinidad you use all of the duck, waste nothing! So I was left with the task of cutting up the bird into 1 inch pieces. No biggie. I’m sure my usual readers can guess what I did next.. research! Craving a cooked bird is one thing, cutting up a raw bird, bones and all is a very different story. After watching a few videos I have to say I was more confused than ever. Start with the breast, start with the legs, spatchcock the bird?? As I stared down at the duck on the cutting board all of those videos and ideas left my mind and panic set in.
Set up with two cutting boards and two bowls I began. I think my best piece of advice for anyone undertaking this process for the first time is to first feel for the bones and joints and second don’t be too aggressive with your knife you just need short, easy knife movements. Most of the time I was only using the tip of the knife cutting approximately 1 inch at a time. I started with the legs, moved on the wings and finished with the breast.
Now like all good family recipes I won’t be able to share with you all.. mostly because there are no recorded measurements just an inherited wisdom of flavor.
The duck did sit overnight marinade in spices direct from Trinidad. I have to admit as a ginger I would not have handled the hot & spicy well so (duck curry is suppose to be hot, hot, hot) but S. tamed it down for our non-islander palate.
Mother in Law… yes that is a condiment, given its’ name because it is so hot it will leave a burning sensation in your mouth. Sound familiar anyone?? I won’t go any further with that one I will just leave that up to your imagine… 😉
This duck curry was one of the ‘bess’ curries I’ve ever had! I only wish I could either convince S. to make it for me every week or hand over the recipe!!