Thursday, March 28, 2013

Stewed Duck (Patotin)

Copyright 2013 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
Patotin is a dish I never understood growing up. It is quite popular especially during fiestas just as much as goat meat seems to be the star of the show on such occasion. Both are cooked as a stew or as a casserole and people go crazy over them. For me, give me your regular chicken and beef any day. However, there seems to be a mystique surrounding both dishes as the way they are cooked are very time and labor intensive and there is always the right way too cook them because otherwise, the taste will be a bit off. This must be part of their attraction since you don't usually serve them on a regular basis especially when you have to cook them for the whole day. 

I've cooked goat stew when I lived in Tennessee a few years back. It was a way for me to prove to my Indian friends that they don't have the monopoly on the most scrumptious goat stew in Asia. They loved what I cooked then but there will always be some cultural preferences but I was okay with that. Now, for the stewed duck, I really have no idea where to start with this. I remember my cousins growing ducks in our backyard for food but I never saw how it was prepared. I never tasted it nor did I show any interest in learning how to actually cook one. It was only last year when my friends and I had dinner together and we had this stewed duck that my friend made. Everyone loved it and I gave it a taste and it was delicious. Sadly, it wasn't enough to get me hooked. It was only after I made my cassoulet that duck became something I wanted to explore in the culinary sense. Thus, here is my take on my friends stewed duck recipe. She not only taught me her recipe, she also delivered the dressed ducks for free. Thanks Anna Mae. Love you always!

Stewed Duck (recipe of Anna Mae)

4-5 lbs whole duck, dressed
juice of 2 30-oz fruit cocktail
juice of 30-oz pineapple tidbits, reserve the pineapple for later
1.5 liter Sprite
1 cup vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
salt and pepper
3 bay leaves
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 dried bay leaves
juice of 15 calamondin (or 2 lemons)
4 tbsp vegetable oil

1. Marinade the duck in a large glass bowl with the vinegar, garlic, juice of 
    the fruit cocktail, soy sauce, lemon juice, a tablespoon of salt and black 
    pepper. Store in the fridge overnight.

2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and brown the marinated duck over 
    medium heat.

3. Transfer the duck into a deep pot and pour the marinade over it. Add the 
    juice of the canned pineapple, the bay leaves and the whole bottle of 
    Sprite and bring to a boil over medium high heat. 

4. Cover the pot and lower the heat to low and simmer the duck for about 
    3-4 hours or until the meat is tender. 

5. Add the sliced pineapples and check for seasoning. Adjust with salt and 
    pepper if necessary. Continue to simmer for another 2 hours. 

6. Uncover the pot and continue to simmer until the sauce has thickened and
    reduced to about 3 cups. Check for flavor one more time and adjust as 

The duck will be cooked thoroughly and will be falling off the bones. If you prefer your duck a bit less mangled and still intact, you can pull out the duck when it is tender and continue to cook the sauce until thickened. At this point, you can return the duck to finish cooking in the sauce. Let it rest for about 30 minutes before serving.   

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