This recipe easily belongs to my list of favorites. Aside from the fact that I do love duck meat with all of its flavor and fatty goodness, look at how I’ve managed to pull this one off to a perfect medium-rare right out of the slow cooker – just see how pink that duck breast is.
Well, to be honest, I wasn’t certain if I could do it in this attempt, being my first. In-as-much-as I didn’t want to waste this premium cut of meat, I reached out for my trusty meat temperature probe and set it to alert me once the internal temperature reaches 140F. To take out the guess part from your side as well, I tell you, this should take somewhere in between five and six hours on a low heat setting in the slow cooker.
Okay, so let’s get started with this duck curry. Get your duck breast on a cutting board fat-side up and make score lines with a sharp knife about 1 cm apart, being careful not to go too deep into the meat layer. Doing so will give the fat room to expand as it cooks and eventually turn crisp.
Rub in some salt, not only for seasoning, but also to help draw out any excess moisture which will keep your duck from crisping out. Leave the salt to do its work for about 5 minutes, then pat the duck dry with some paper towels.
Get a pan really, really hot and set your duck breast in, fat-side first. No need for any oil at this point as the duck contains much more fat than what you’ll actually need. This should take about two minutes. Flip then sear the meat side for another minute.
If you’ll be using roasted duck, then you may carry-on with this recipe straight in your slow cooker. Otherwise, this searing step would create a crispy outer crust, and will render excess duck fat which will make your curry too oily in the end.
Tip off the excess fat in your pan and get the red curry paste in. Roast it until you see a bright red oil splitting from the paste. This should intensify that curry flavor.
By the way, red curry paste should come easily available in the Asian section of most supermarkets. It’s that same red curry paste used in most Thai dishes.
Next would be to get some stock and coconut cream in. Since we’re finishing the dish in the slow cooker, with evaporation nearly non-existent, you may have to skip on the stock and go with the cream alone.
Get everything in the slow cooker. The sauce, eggplant, tomatoes, pineapples, fish sauce, and kaffir lime leaves. Get the seared duck breast in last then check on the level of cream you have in the pot. It should come to two-thirds of the duck at the most. Add some water or stock if needed. I’m using a Hamilton Beach for this recipe.
Getting the duck submerged in braising liquid would ruin that crust we have carefully developed.
Once the duck is cooked to your desired doneness, take it out of the pot and leave it to rest for 10-15 minutes before carving. This will get those meat juices to distribute evenly back into the meat.
Top your dish with some fresh basil leaves or some chopped chili.