Duck is very traditional in the south of Mexico and my family used to make it during New Year’s along with some abalone salad, hearts of palm and many other special items. It’s kind of silly now, but I remember dressing up for New Year’s dinner at our house, cracking an egg in a glass with water and placing it under the bed – to see what the future had to offer. Nowadays, we skip the dressing up, though we do make a list of 3 things: something to remember the year that is about to pass, something to be grateful of our present and a goal for the coming year. It has been a fun activity with our son, then we burn the paper and cheer on the new year. Duck tacos are rich in flavor and the preparation here is easy to execute. Hope you enjoy them during any celebration.
2 duck breasts (about 2 lbs or less)
Juice of 2 oranges
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lime
3 crushed garlic cloves
1 chopped serrano pepper
½ cup of soy sauce
¼ cup of honey
2 medium sweet potatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp of pork fat
White corn tortillas
I followed Rick Bayless recipe, with exception of the nut combination – I used almonds, pistachios and pine nuts. http://www.rickbayless.com/recipe/salsa-macha/
How to prepare:
Start by combining your duck breasts with the marinade (orange, lemon, lime, garlic, serrano, soy sauce and honey). Place in the fridge and marinade for 8 hours or overnight.
Make your salsa macha and have it ready.
Once your duck breast has marinated remove from the liquid and pat it dry. Salt generously and cover with paper towels, let it rest for 20 minutes.
Preheat your oven at 350. While your duck is resting, you can prepare your sweet potatoes. Start by peeling off the skin. Next, cut it in very small strips like you would have in skinny fries. Place in a bowl and add olive oil / pork fat, salt and pepper. Mix well and place in a baking sheet. Put in the oven and cook for about 40 minutes or until golden.
In a cast iron or heavy bottom pan, place your duck breast skin down. Now turn on the stove to a medium heat and render its fat for about 6 minutes. Flip and cook for another 4 minutes. Flip again and crisp up the skin. Be careful of not overcooking – you want a medium to medium rare. If you go medium well – it’s okay, it will still taste good, thus Its much preferable to be medium / medium rare.
Once your duck is done, let it rest for 5 – 10 minutes. Then slice lengthwise.
To prepare your tacos, heat up your white corn tortillas with a little bit of butter (if desired), place your tortilla and add a small pile of sweet potatoes. Top with 2 slices of duck breast, drizzle salsa macha and sprinkle cilantro.